Saudi Arabia says it has closed its embassy in Syria

Oil state's foreign ministry says decisions to withdraw all diplomats and staff made "in light of the current events in Syria."

March 14, 2012 22:51
Saudi King Abdullah.

Saudi King Abdullah 390. (photo credit: Reuters/Saudi Press Agency)

Dubai - Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had closed its embassy in Syria and withdrawn all diplomats and staff.

A Foreign Ministry statement said the decision was made "in light of the current events in Syria".

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Several Arab and Western countries have scaled down their diplomatic presence in Syria in protest at a crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad on a year-long revolt against his autocratic rule.

Saudi Arabia and other 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.

Some other Arabs have been wary of such a step, concerned that it could plunge Syria into a full-scale civil war.

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