Syrian FM rejects lucrative Qatari offer to defect
A Jordanian website claims that the Syrian minister of foreign affairs, Walid Muallem, has rejected a lucrative offer in exchange for defecting from the Syrian regime. According to the report, Muallem was offered this tempting deal during a secret meeting with the minister of foreign affairs of a "small country in the Gulf," likely Qatar. The meeting took place in the recent meeting held by the organization of Islamic countries in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
Although the site does not mention the name of the country, it's obvious to the reader that Qatar stands behind it. The website claims that the minister offered his Syrian colleague an amount of US$100 million as well as luxurious accommodation in one of the country's palaces. According to the source, Maullem rejected the offer and claimed that he is taking a "national position". Muallem has been also quoted as saying that no Syrian minister will agree to betray Assad's regime for money.
It should be noted that during the recent revolt in Libya, the Libyan minister of foreign affairs, Mussa Kusa, has deserted Gaddafi's regime by surprise. Also than, the Libyan minister has appeared, for the first time after his defection, in the Qatari capital, Doha. Some claimed at that time his desertion was a result of a hefty deal arranged by the Qatari royal family which included millions of dollars.
It should be emphasized that since the beginning of the riots in Syria against Assad's regime, Damascus claims that Qatar and the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, are the main sources of finance for the opposition forces.