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Switzerland recalls ambassador to Syria

Last Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 22:56

Geneva: Switzerland has decided to recall its
ambassador to Damascus for consultations in protest at Syria`s
crackdown on protesters, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

"The unacceptable behaviour of the Syrian security service
has led the foreign ministry to recall the ambassador from his
post in Damascus for consultations in Bern," the ministry said
in a statement.

The foreign ministry said that it had already "made a
number of public appeals to the Syrian authorities to respect
fundamental rights", adding that it "particularly deplores the
large numbers of dead and wounded and offers its sincerest
condolences to the victims` families and loved ones".

The statement also called for Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad`s regime to end repression immediately, halt the use
of torture as well as respect freedom of opinion and for
people to hold gatherings.

The announcement of the ambassador`s recall comes only a
day after Switzerland widened sanctions against Assad`s
regime, adding 12 individuals to a list of key players under
financial embargo and travel restriction.

Bern had already blocked assets worth 27 million francs
(USD 34 million, 23.6 million euros) belonging to Assad and 22
other individuals.


First Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 22:56
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