Italy, France recall Syrian ambassadors for consultations
ROME/PARIS - Reuters
Syrians residing in Libya wave the pre-Baath former national flag (top) during a protest outside China's embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli. AFP photoItaly and France recalled their ambassadors to Syria for consultations today, a day after Britain and the U.S. stepped up pressure on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step down, statements both country's foreign ministries said.
Yesterday Britain recalled its ambassador for consultations, and the U.S. closed its embassy in Damascus.
"Faced with a worsening of the repression led by the Damascus regime against its own population, French authorities have decided to recall our ambassador in Syria for consultations," the French spokesman said.
Italy said its embassy would remain open to provide assistance to its citizens in the country.
Three days ago Russia and China caused outrage by vetoing a U.N. resolution that backed an Arab League call for Assad to leave power. The United Nations says 5,000 people have been killed in Assad's military crackdown on protests.