Syrian vice president makes public appearance ending defection rumours


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The Independent Online

Syrian vice president Farouk Al-Sharaa has made his first public appearance in several weeks, ending rumours that he had defected.

Mr Al-Sharaa was last seen at the funeral of four top Syrian government officials who were killed in a blast in Damascus on July 18.

Since then, speculation has circulated that he had defected to Jordan in what would have been a blow to Bashar Assad's regime.

Jordan and Mr Al-Sharaa's office repeatedly denied he had defected.

On Sunday, reporters saw Mr Al-Sharaa exit his car and walk to his office for a meeting with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

Reporters at the scene said Mr Al-Sharaa looked serious and steered away from those covering the meeting. He did not make a statement.