Italy recalls Syrian ambassador for consultations

February 7, 2012 13:04

ROME - Italy recalled its ambassador to Syria for consultations on Tuesday, a day after Britain and the US stepped up pressure on Syrian leader Bashar Assad to step down, a statement from the foreign ministry said.

On Monday Britain recalled its ambassador for consultations, and the US closed its embassy in Damascus. Italy said its embassy would remain open to provide assistance to its citizens in the country.

Three days ago Russia and China caused outrage by vetoing a UN resolution that backed an Arab League call for Assad to leave power. The United Nations says 5,000 people have been killed in Assad's military crackdown on protests.

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