Report: Syrian FM rejects offer to defect from Assad regime
A Gulf state, likely Qatar, has offered to pay US$100 million for the defection of Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallem from the Assad regime. According to Arabic sources, Muallem rejected the offer claiming "My position is national"
He sources said a foreign minister from a "tiny Gulf state" secretly met with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on the sidelines of the recent Organization of Islamic Conference meeting, where the confidential offer was made. According to the reports, the Syrian minister was offered a permanent residence in a palace located in the capital of this Gulf country in addition to the immediate transfer of US$ 100 million in exchange for Muallem's declaration about his defection from the Syrian leadership.
Despite the pressure exerted on him, the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs informed the Gulf minister that he is the only official in the Syrian leadership, who he is not a member of the ruling Baath Party and thus he is free to adopt political positions. But, according to him, his current views are purely based on purely national reasons, adding that Syria is fine and that the Gulf country will need "hundreds of millions" later in the battle against Syria.
Muallem was also quoted as saying hat the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and the Lebanese March 14 movement, funded by former Lebanese PM, Saad Hariri, could not find one member of the Baath Party who is ready to defect from the ruling party in Syria. Is it correct to bribe me to betray my country?", the Syrian minister was reportedly quoted as saying.
Muallem asked the Gulf minister to come up with a deal to calm the situation in Syria by easing the political and media pressure on Damascus and restore the situation by the end of this year. Before the meeting ended, Walid Moallem asked his Gulf counterpart about the financial costs paid so far to stir up the situation in Syria. Reportedly, the Gulf official didn't reply and just smiled.