Brazil removes diplomats from Syria
Brasilia: Brazil`s Foreign Ministry says it has removed nearly all diplomats from its embassy in Syria because of heavy fighting there.
The ministry says in an e-mailed statement today that the diplomats are now stationed in Beirut.
The ministry emphasised it`s not closing the embassy. It says a diplomat remains in Damascus to attend to any Brazilians in the Middle Eastern country.
Fighting between government troops and rebels has been raging in Syria`s capital Damascus, with hundreds being killed in recent days.
Brazil has a large and influential expatriate Syrian community, mostly in Sao Paulo, South America`s largest city.
The first Syrian immigrants arrived toward the end of the 18th century and established themselves in business, medicine and academics.
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