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updated: 9/13/2017 10:39 PM

Jordan king links Syria border opening to better security

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AMMAN, Jordan -- Jordan's King Abdullah II says he is "deeply concerned" with the situation in southern Syria and that his country's border with Syria would only reopen "when the right security conditions materialize on the ground."

The monarch told the state news agency Petra in an interview published Thursday that the military campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria "could push it south toward Jordan" and that Jordan's top priority is to protect its border.

The king also says that a cease-fire for southwest Syria, brokered in July by Jordan, Russia and the U.S., could be replicated elsewhere in Syria.

Russia proposes creating "de-escalation zones" in several areas of Syria. Russia's foreign minister met with Abdullah in Jordan this week to discuss the requirements for such a zone in southern Syria.

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