AMMAN (AFP) – Defecting Syrian prime minister Riyad Hijab is to leave Jordan for Qatar within days, following the example of other high-profile defectors, his spokesman Mohammad Otri told AFP.

“Hijab will go to Doha, where international media are based. He will leave for Qatar tomorrow, the day after or after a few days,” Mr Otri told AFP in the Jordanian capital.

A member of the Syrian opposition in Jordan said Mr Hijab would soon travel to Qatar. “We are currently coordinating to facilitate the departure of Hijab to Doha in the coming few hours, most probably at 2200 GMT. Seven of his brothers will stay in Jordan,” he told AFP, saying he had helped Hijab defect.

“We understand the sensitivity of this issue for Jordan. We do not want to create problems for the kingdom, which already has tense relations with the Syrian regime,” he said, on condition of anonymity.