Syria ambassador to Iraq defects,fired

Syria’s Foreign Ministry said it has fired the country’s ambassador to Iraq,appointed in 2008,after he defected to the opposition

Written by Associated Press | Beirut | Published: July 13, 2012 12:41 am

Syria’s Foreign Ministry Thursday said it has fired the country’s ambassador to Iraq,appointed in 2008,after he defected to the opposition.

In a statement to Syria’s state news agency,the ministry said Nawaf Fares had been “relieved of his duties’’ and should face “legal and disciplinary accountability.”

Fares announced his defection in a video on Wednesday,saying he was siding with “the revolution’’ against President Bashar Assad.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari confirmed Fares’ defection,saying he quit while outside of Iraq.

He is the highest profile diplomat so far. Brigadier General Manaf Tlass,an Assad confidant,fled Syria last week,though he has not spoken publically since.

Assad discussed transition govt,says Annan
GENEVA:
UN envoy Kofi Annan said Thursday Syrian President Bashar Assad discussed the possibility of forming a transitional Syrian government with him earlier this week. Assad,he said,“did offer a name of someone” who could serve as an interlocutor for the regime as it explores ways of forming a transitional government with the opposition. Annan did not identify the person named by Assad.

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