Syria Live Blog
Defecting Syria PM to leave Jordan for Qatar: spokesman
Defecting Syrian prime minister Riad Hijab is to leave Jordan for Qatar within days, following the example of other high-profile defectors, his spokesman Mohammad Otri told AFP.
"Hijab will go to Doha, where international media are based. He will leave for Qatar tomorrow, the day after or after a few days," Otri told AFP in the Jordanian capital.
A member of the Syrian opposition in Jordan said Hijab will travel to Qatar "in the coming few hours."
"We are currently co-ordinating to facilitate the departure of Hijab to Doha in the coming few hours, most probably at 2200 GMT. Seven of his brothers will stay in Jordan," he told AFP, saying he had helped Hijab defect.
"We understand the sensitivity of this issue for Jordan. We do not want to create problems for the kingdom, which already has tense relations with the Syrian regime," he said, on condition of anonymity.
Hijab announced he was joining the rebels after slipping across the border into Jordan on Sunday night in the highest-ranking defection of the nearly 17-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria's ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, defected last month and took refuge in Qatar, which has been among the most outspoken critics of Assad's regime. [AFP]