Jordan confirms hosting defecting Syria PM
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Syria's defecting prime minister Riyad Hijab is in Jordan, the country's information minister said Wednesday, ending speculation about his whereabouts.
Sameeh Maaytah said Hijab "entered Jordan in the early hours of dawn today along with several members of his family." Maaytah spoke to the state Petra News Agency. He did not elaborate.
Maaytah did not answer repeated calls by The Associated Press to comment on conflicting reports that Hijab was already in Jordan, having come there after he defected to the opposition on Monday.
On Monday, Maaytah denied that Hijab was in the country. But another Jordanian official and the rebel Free Syrian Army said he fled to Jordan that day along with his seven brothers, two sisters and their families. They said he was planning to travel onward to Qatar, but did not specify when.
The reason for the discrepancy in accounts was not immediately clear. But Jordan has been concerned that its more powerful northern neighbor may try to drag it into its 17-month-old civil war.
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