Following the high profile defection of former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab it has been confirmed that Mr Hijab is in Jordan with his family. Speaking at a news conference the Jordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maytah confirmed he had arrived on Wednesday with his family and was now under state protection. Speaking in Arabic he said

Sameeh Maaytah, Jordanian Information Minister and government spokesperson:

"What has happened in Syria since last year has affected the relationship between Syria and most countries in the world. However, we hope everyone can understand that Jordan will not close its door to any Syrian, be he an official or ordinary citizen. They can all seek asylum and protection in Jordan."

Reporters then asked what Mr Hijab's next move would be to which he replied

Sameeh Maaytah, Jordanian Information Minister and government spokesperson:

"It's up to him to decide what to do next, to stay in Jordan or leave for other countries."

In response to the deteriorating situation Foreign Secretary William Hague has pledged the UK's commitment of an extra £5m to the free Syrian Army.This will not include weapons or arms but will go towards more radio and satellite equipment, as well as portable power generators. He said this " is the right thing to do".

Mr Hijab who was appointed less than two months ago was the first Syrian cabinet minister and most high profile departure ,to defect, and join the rebels. This follows the defection last month of, Syria's ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, who is also believed to be in Jordan.

I am Ann Salter thanks for watching. For the latest news and updates on Syria follow me on outr website at

Written and Presented by Ann Salter