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Syrian official says report of Assad looking into political asylum are ‘laughable’


This news story was published on December 7, 2012.
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By Juan O. Tamayo, The Miami Herald –

MIAMI — Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has reported that beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad is studying the possibility of seeking political asylum in Cuba, Venezuela or Ecuador if he’s forced to flee Damascus.

Haaretz did not cite any sources for its report Wednesday that Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad delivered secret letters with that information when he visited Havana, Caracas and Quito late last month.

Miqdad later called the report “laughable” and added, “I assure you 100 percent that President Assad will never leave his country.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Wednesday said only that U.S. officials “understand that some countries, both in the region and elsewhere, have offered to host Assad.”

Government-controlled news media in Havana and Caracas have reported that Miqdad delivered letters from Assad to the governments of Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez.

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