Syrian Ambassador: That Wasn't Me Who Quit on TV

Ambassador says she was impersonated, network disagrees

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 8, 2011 8:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Syria's ambassador to France, hours after apparently announcing her resignation during a telephone interview with news network France24, now says she was impersonated. Lamia Shakkour appeared on camera on another French TV network and said she plans to sue France24 over its "campaign of falsification of information and disinformation," the AP reports. The woman who spoke on France24 said she was resigning because of the Syrian regime's bloody crackdown on protest.

France24 says it believes the woman who announced the resignation was Shakkour herself. The network says it called a number it had used for her before and she agreed to join a live debate about Syria. It's not clear whether Shakkour was impersonated or resigned and then changed her mind, but the timing of the resignation made it appear credible, the New York Times notes. "I can no longer continue to support the cycle of extreme violence against unarmed civilians," said the woman on France24. Click here to watch the video on France24.

Syrian president Basher Assad, right, meets newly appointed ambassador to France Lamia Shakkour in this 2008 photo.
Syrian president Basher Assad, right, meets newly appointed ambassador to France Lamia Shakkour in this 2008 photo.   (AP Photo)
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