Damascus: The office of Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa refuted on Saturday reports about his defection circulated on Arab TVs and welcomed the appointment of the new UN envoy to Syria.
In a statement carried by the state TV, al-Sharaa's office denied reports about his defection and stressed that he has not even thought of leaving the country to any destination.
The denial came hours after the Saudi-funded al-Arabyia TV splashed red news banners alleging the defection of al-Sharaa and saying that he has reached the Jordanian territories after 10 days of strenuous efforts to break from the regime's tight grip.
Al-Arabyia quoted an official in the rebel Free Syrian Army as claiming that al-Sharaa has been whisked into Jordan in the same way used when former Syrian prime minister Riyad Hijab was spirited out on August 06.
The Syrian regime has suffered spates of defections over the past year of crisis.
Meanwhile, the statement of the vice president's office said al- Sharaa welcomes the UN decision to appoint veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as the successor of Kofi Annan, who has recently resigned from the post of UN special envoy to Syria after failing to bring the months-long crisis to a close.
"Al-Sharaa backs Brahimi's insistence to get a united stance from the (UN) Security Council to fulfil his tough mission without impediments," the statement said.
The statement also said that al-Sharaa, since the start of the crisis, "has been working with all parties to stop the bloodshed in a bid to embark on a political process”.
UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey announced on Friday that Brahimi, former Algerian foreign minister and long-time UN official, would succeed Annan as the new joint special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria.
Brahimi called on the international community to reach a consensus to solve the Syrian crisis.
First Published: Saturday, August 18, 2012, 17:17