AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's information minister denies that the Syrian prime minister has defected to the neighboring kingdom and another government official says the premier will be leaving Amman soon for another country.
The second official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Monday the defector Riad Hijab would be heading out of the Jordanian capital to Qatar or Turkey. Earlier, the same official confirmed Hijab had defected from Syria and was in Jordan along with his family.
Hijab's spokesman said the prime minister had defected, but declined to say where he was. However, he spoke from Amman.
Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah's denial that the minister had defected to Jordan reflects the kingdom's concern over angering its more powerful neighbor.