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Syria VP Al-Sharaa appears in public, ending defection rumor

Louai Beshara / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa (C) on Sunday greets a member of the delegation of the Iranian Shura Council's Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security who are on an official visit to Damascus.

Syrian Vice President Farouk Al-Sharaa has made his first public appearance in several weeks, ending rumors that he defected.

Al-Sharaa was last seen at the funeral of four top Syrian government officials who were killed in a blast in Damascus on July 18. Since then, speculation has circulated that he defected to Jordan in what would have been a blow to Bashar Assad's regime.

Jordan and Al-Sharaa's office repeatedly denied he defected.   On Sunday, reporters saw Al-Sharaa exit his car and walk to his office for a meeting with Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's powerful parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene said Al-Sharaa looked serious and steered away from reporters covering the meeting. He did not make a statement.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

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Syria's state news agency echoed that report, said Al-Sharaa met a parliamentary delegation from Iran, led by Borougerdi.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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