UK recalls ambassador to Syria `for consultations`

William Hague said he had summoned the Syrian envoy to London in protest at the situation in Syria.

London: Terming the situation in Syria as
"unacceptable", Britain on Monday recalled its ambassador to Syria
"for consultations", amid reports of bloody crackdown by the
government on protesters demanding that President Bashar Assad
step down.

In a statement to parliament, Foreign Secretary William
Hague said he had summoned the Syrian envoy to London to the
Foreign Office in protest at the situation in Syria.

Britain also regretted that the UN security resolution on
the issue had been vetoed by Russia and China.

"We regard this veto as a grave error of judgment by the
governments of China and Russia...Such vetoes are a betrayal
of the Syrian people," Hague said.

"In deploying them they have let down the Arab League;
they have increased the likelihood of what they wish to avoid
in Syria - civil war - and they have placed themselves on the
wrong side of Arab and international opinion," he underlined.

Coming down heavily on the Syrian government, Hague said
that the regime may have drawn comfort from events at the U
nited Nations Security Council, but "we will do everything
that we can to make sure that comfort is short-lived".
"This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime.

There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally
or with its own people", he said.

Hague outlined a series of measures Britain will
undertake to deal with the Syria situation, including the
recall of the British ambassador in Syria, and summoning the
Syrian envoy to the Foreign Office today.

The move by the UK comes hours after the US today
suspended its embassy operations in Damascus in the face of
the recent surge in violence in Syria.

"The recent surge in violence, including bombings in
Damascus on December 23 and January 6, has raised serious
concerns that our Embassy is not sufficiently protected from
armed attack," the US State Department said in a statement.


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