Jordan’s Abdullah receives first call from Syria’s Assad

Jordan’s King Abdullah received a phone call from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the royal palace said on Sunday in what officials said was the first such communication since the start of the conflict in Syria a decade ago.

Jordan last week fully reopened a border crossing with Syria to boost investment and trade that had suffered during the decade-old conflict.

The king had called for Assad to step down after the Syrian leader’s bloody crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests against his authoritarian rule at the start of the conflict in 2011 and Jordan became a conduit for Western and Arab weapon supplies to forces trying to oust Assad.