The United States has no plans to “normalise or upgrade” diplomatic relations with the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and also does not encourage others to do so, a State Department spokesperson said yesterday.

The comments came in response to Reuters questions on whether Washington was encouraging and supporting a rapprochement between Jordan and Syria after Jordan fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria yesterday. The move was to boost the countries’ struggling economies and reinforce a push by Arab states to reintegrate Syria after shunning it during its civil war.

Officials in Jordan, a US ally, and Lebanon have urged Washington to ease sanctions on Syria. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt — another close US ally — this month agreed for Egyptian natural gas to be sent to Lebanon via Syria using a pipeline built some 20 years ago in an Arab cooperation project.

READ: Cautious calm prevails in northern Syria after Sochi summit

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