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Syria opens border to Lebanese transit trucks

Lebanese transit trucks at the east Masnaa border cross on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (The Daily Star/Rakan Fakih)

MASNAA CROSSING, Lebanon: Syrian authorities have allowed Lebanese transit trucks to cross into Syria after 47 days of denying them entry in retaliation for attacks on gasoil trucks headed to the war-torn country.

“The Syrian measure was taken suddenly despite high-level political communications to re-open the road having started a while ago,” said Mohammad Saleh, an owner of a clearance office.

“Therefore we cannot be sure that the road will be open permanently.”

He said the re-entry of Lebanese trucks stranded in the Syrian province of Sweida and vice-versa – Syrian trucks waiting in Lebanese territory – would signal the resumption of normal shipments.

Caretaker Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said over the weekend that the closure of the borders with Syria has negatively affected the sector in Lebanon.

According to Haj Hasan, the Syrian government decided to shut the border with Lebanon after some Lebanese groups disrupted the passage of a number of Syria-bound fuel trucks from Lebanon.

He called for such acts to cease because they “harm all the Lebanese whether they support or oppose the Syrian regime.”

 

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