Germany expels four Syrian embassy staff: ministry
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. EPA/MAURIZIO GAMBARINIGermany on Monday expelled four employees of the Syrian embassy in Berlin, the foreign minister said, as part of moves to sharply curb ties to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"We are sending a clear message with the expulsion of four Syrian embassy staff that we are reducing relations with the Assad regime to an absolute minimum," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
"We are counting on the (opposition) national coalition growing more stable and developing as soon as possible functioning institutions for the political transition," he added.
The ministry said that Syria's acting envoy to Berlin had been informed of the decision today and that the staff had until Thursday "to leave their posts".
Germany had expelled the Syrian ambassador to Germany in May, along with France, Britain, Italy and Spain following a massacre of more than 100 people in the Houla region north of Homs.