Gulf Arab states close embassies in Syria

UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait take action in protest of violent crackdown on civilians by Syrian President Assad.

March 16, 2012 08:42
Syrian demonstrate against Assad

Syrian demonstrate against Assad 390 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

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".

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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.

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