Syria: Ex-spokesman speaks after disappearance

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Citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows smoke rises from Aleppo International Airport, Syria, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. Rebels captured a military air base in northern Syria on Tuesday, handing opposition fighters their second strategic victory in their nearly two-year battle against President Bashar Assad in as many days, activists said. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's former Foreign Ministry spokesman has made his first comments since disappearing in December, saying he left Syria because "of the polarization and violence that left no place for moderation and diplomacy."

Jihad Makdissi says in a statement sent to the Abu-Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia that he did not go to Europe or the U.S. after he left.

Makdissi was known for defending the regime of President Bashar Assad in fluent English.

On Dec. 3, Lebanese security officials said Makdissi flew from Beirut to London. But it was not immediately clear whether he had defected.

After Sky News Arabia posted the letter on Wednesday, Makdissi posted his first tweet since Nov. 25, saying "I confirm authenticity of the Press Release issued today."