Four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)- the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait- closed their embassies in Syria over its violent crackdown on mass protests against President Bashar Assad. The countries join fellow GCC members Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, who announced on Wednesday that they would end their missions in Damascus.
SPA quoted GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani as saying in a statement that the move demonstrated a rejection of "the Syrian regime's continuing killing and tormenting of the unarmed Syrian people, its insistence on the military option and ignoring all efforts for a way out of the tragic situation lived by the brotherly Syrian people".
Zayani called on the international community to "take firm and quick measures to stop the killings, torture and blatant violation of the dignity of the Syrian people and its legitimate rights", SPA said.
Gulf Arab countries, who are broadly opposed to Syria's alliance with
their regional rival Iran, have led efforts to isolate Assad and have
called for arming Syrian rebels so they can better take on government
troops, tanks and heavy weapons.