Middle East

Makdissi says ‘destructive’ division behind Syria departure

Syria's foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi speaks at a news conference in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, May 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)

BEIRUT: Former Syrian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Wednesday his departure from Syria last year was due to the violence and "destructive" division in his country.

“I left Syria because of the violence and polarization that left no place for moderation and diplomacy,” the Syrian said in a statement.

He said the division in Syria reached a “destructive” level and “I could not bear to stay in the country any longer.”

In a twitter post, Makdissi confirmed the authenticity of the statement.

“I confirm authenticity of the press release issued today where I explained why I left the regime and my current political position,” he said.

The former Syrian official denied that he had traveled to the Europe or the United States since leaving his country, instead stating he was with some “honest brothers who are helping the Syrian people overcome their humanitarian crisis with no discrimination.”

“I didn’t travel to Europe or the United States although my passport would have easily entitled me to [do so],” he said.

Makdissi’s whereabouts have been a mystery ever since reports of his departure from Syria.

While some media reports said Makdissi traveled to London with his family, others claimed the CIA had secured him safe passage to the United States.

In the statement, he said that his former position as Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesperson did not grant him access to any “additional information” not available to ordinary Syrian citizens.

Makdissi said that those revolting against President Bashar Assad had rightful demands “that no one could deny.”

"The rebels, however, were still unable to convince the minds of Syrians of their movement because of reasons that are well known."





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