Jordan. Since the border with Syria was opened in October
2018, more than 150,000 Syrian refugees have returned home.
A total of 650,000 Syrians in Jordan have been granted
refugee status by the UN. Since the civil war in Syria broke
out in 2011, Jordan has received 1.3 million Syrians. Prime
Minister Omar al-Razzaz was forced during the year to reform
the government on two occasions (May and November). This is
the fourth time this has happened since he took office in
CountryAAH, the 25-year lease agreement with Israel on agricultural
land in Jordan expired in November. The agreement had been
concluded in connection with the 1994 peace deal, but in
October 2018, Jordan's King Abdullah announced that he had
no intention of extending it. This means that Israeli
farmers are now being shut out of the two enclaves that are
on the border with Israel, proof that relations with Israel
continue to be poor.
Relations with Iraq got better. In January, King Abdullah
visited the country since Iraqi President Barham Salih
visited Jordan in the fall of 2018. King Abdullah's visit to
Iraq was the first in over ten years. In February, imports
of oil from Iraq resumed. So far with the help of tank cars
from Kirkuk. In 2013, the two countries had agreed on a
170-mile oil pipeline between Basra and Aqaba, but after the
Islamic State's (IS) progress, the plans were shredded.
According to information from the Jordanian point, the oil
pipeline will now be built. Jordan is also part of the
regional cooperation on gas extraction that came to fruition
in February. Then the Eastern Mediterranean gas forum was
formed together with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy
A teacher strike in September stopped one month's
teaching for 1.4 million students in 4,000 state schools.
After the promise of increased salaries, the teachers
returned to work in early October.