On Syrian-Sponsored Trip, Everyone Stays On Script As the international community ratchets up criticism of Syria for its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, the country is becoming more and more isolated. A recent Syrian government-sponsored tour was called Syria is fine. Minders monitored reporters every move.
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On Syrian-Sponsored Trip, Everyone Stays On Script

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On Syrian-Sponsored Trip, Everyone Stays On Script

On Syrian-Sponsored Trip, Everyone Stays On Script

On Syrian-Sponsored Trip, Everyone Stays On Script

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140052805/140052836" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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As the international community ratchets up criticism of Syria for its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters, the country is becoming more and more isolated. A recent Syrian government-sponsored tour was called Syria is fine. Minders monitored reporters every move.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Syria is becoming more isolated. Even some of its friends criticize Syria's crackdown on protestors, which means the government is forced to rely more on allies, such as Russia and Iran. NPR's Kelly McEvers recently returned from a government-sponsored tour of Syria, which was mainly for reporters from countries that support the regime. And she sent us this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

KELLY MCEVERS: Unidentified Man: Believe me, we have no problem. Believe me.

MCEVERS: Group: (Chanting in foreign language)

MCEVERS: That idea was taken a step further by Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad at a dinner he hosted for our group. He thanked the group for showing the world the real story. He said other media outlets are not to be trusted.

FAISAL MUQDAD: We are not killing innocent people. It is the government who has been targeted by extremist groups, by terrorist groups that are financed and supported by the United States of America and by Western Europe and by the most notorious elements in neighboring countries.

MCEVERS: Kelly McEvers, NPR News, Beirut.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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