Syria Vice President makes public appearance, ending defection rumors

DAMASCUS Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:05am EDT

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DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria's vice president Farouq al-Sharaa met an Iranian delegation on Sunday, marking the official's first appearance in weeks and ending rumors by opposition activists that he had defected from President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The vice president met with a parliamentary delegation from Assad's main regional ally Iran, led by senior legislator Aleddin Borougerdi, according to a Reuters reporter who saw the group with Sharaa outside his office in Damascus.

Opposition activists for weeks had said Sharaa had defected to the 17-month-old uprising against Assad, and said he was hiding out in the southern city of Deraa.

(Reporting by Marwan Makdesi; Writing by Erika Solomon; Editing by Peter Graff)

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