Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

Middle east

US accuses Syria of orchestrating protests

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-11

A senior US official accused Damascus of orchestrating violent protests over the weekend at the US embassy in Syria. The Syrian government had criticised the US and French ambassadors for visiting the troubled city of Hama.

Reuters - The United States accused Syria of having organized an angry 31-hour protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Damascus over the weekend while the U.S. ambassador told the foreign minister that such anti-American “incitement” must stop.

Syria earlier on Sunday said it had summoned the envoys of the United States and France in Damascus to protest their visit to the restive city of Hama last week without clearance from the authorities.

The Hama visit by U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford and French Ambassador Eric Chevallier was a “clear evidence of the American and French intervention in Syria’s internal affairs,” Syria’s news agency SANA quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

In Washington, the State Department said the Syrian government chose to protest Ford’s trip to Hama by organizing a a protest outside the embassy that lasted 31 hours on Friday and Saturday with protesters hurling tomatoes, eggs, glass and rocks.

Two embassy employees were struck by food, the department said in a written reply to queries.

The department said Ford registered U.S. displeasure with these events in an already-scheduled Sunday meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.

It said the meeting had been requested by the U.S. Embassy and scheduled since Thursday.

“Ambassador Ford was not summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the State Department said.

Hama has been the site of some of the biggest demonstrations seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He sent security forces back into the city and ringed it with tanks this week.

U.S. President Barack Obama has reacted gingerly so far to the protests in Syria, part of a wave of unrest in the Arab world that toppled rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and led to NATO involvement in a civil war in Libya.

Obama has said Assad must either lead reforms in Syria or get out of the way. Ford’s visit to Hama marked a symbolic strengthening of U.S. support for peaceful protesters’ goals and methods.

Official Complaint

Moualem at the session in Damascus on Sunday filed an official complaint with Ford regarding his visit to Hama, the State Department said.

At the same meeting, Ford “made clear that Syrian government incitement of Syrians against the United States, including through aggressive protesters in front of the embassy, must stop.”

“The Syrian government must not use his visit to Hama - meant only to gather information and support freedom of expression - as propaganda,” the department said.

Ford called on the Syrian government to meet its responsibility under the Vienna Convention to protect diplomats and diplomatic facilities, the department said.

Ford’s trip to Hama coincided with a visit by the French ambassador but had not been coordinated, the department said Friday.

Syria’s main opposition groups boycotted talks on national reconciliation on Sunday while Vice President Farouq al-Shara said the country has no alternative to dialogue.

Sharaa spoke at the start of a two-day conference aimed at setting the framework for a dialogue promised by Assad, who is facing the biggest challenge to his 11-year rule. The Baath Party has ruled Syria since it took power in a coup in 1963. Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad, ran the country with an iron fist for more than 30 years.

The State Department called on the government to meet “the aspirations” of the Syrian people and to lead to a transition.

‘The Syrian government will be judged by its concrete actions, not its words,” the department said.

Date created : 2011-07-10

  • SYRIA

    Syrian security forces 'told protesters were terrorists'

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    French and US ambassador visits bolster Hama protests

    Read more

  • ARAB WORLD

    Friday protests rock Syria and Egypt

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)