Syria, Egypt in tit-for-tat envoy withdrawal

Last Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:03

Moscow: Syria recalled its ambassador to Egypt on Sunday over Cairo`s withdrawal of its envoy in Damascus, the Al Jazeera TV channel reported.

Egypt`s Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr "summoned the Egyptian ambassador to Damascus, and it was decided that the ambassador will remain in Cairo until further notice", ministry spokesman Amr Rushd said in a statement on Sunday.

A number of Western and Arab countries have also earlier recalled their ambassadors in Syria.

Syrian opposition activists called for a "day of defiance" on Sunday after security forces allegedly killed at least one person at a funeral in Damascus on Saturday.

The shooting came during a visit by a Chinese envoy, who called on all sides in the country to end violence.

Zhai Jun, China`s vice foreign minister, also backed government plans for a referendum on a new Constitution and subsequent elections.

Human rights groups say the 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has claimed more than 7,000 lives. The government says around 2,000 members of its security forces have been killed combating "armed gangs and terrorists".

IANS



First Published: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 11:03

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