Syria’s former spokesman spotted publicly in Dubai

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Syria’s Former Spokesman was publically spotted on Friday in the United Arab Emirates after his sudden disappearance from the Syrian political scene since November of last year.

A Syrian activist, who spoke to Al Arabiya on the basis of anonymity, said she spotted Jihad Makdissi sitting with friends at Emaar Boulevard café’s outside porch in Dubai on Friday evening. “he seemed like he wanted to be noticed by the public,” the activist said.

"He sat in a table that was near the sidewalk when there was other private tables available inside."

She said that he was accompanied by four men and he seemed to be enjoying his time.Al Arabiya contacted the café to obtain a further statement but the management refused to provide any information. “We are not permitted to confirm any information.”

Makdissi was appointed foreign ministry spokesman in 2009, but reportedly defected in December 2012. Prior to his defection, Makdissi used to travel to Lebanon weekly to spend three days with his family, which he relocated due to the spilled violence in the country.

The Lebanese government confirmed Makdissi’s last entrance to the country was Nov. 30 of last year.

However, the Syrian government denied that his defection, stating that “he had taken three months of administrative leave.”

He was one of the few Christians to hold a government position.