Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

A piece of history: US' five former presidents gather for Puerto Rico benefit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Chic hotels and horse races: Calais tries to shed its 'Jungle' image

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After Raqqa; Xi's the boss; and Spain enters unchartered waters

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

France

France recalls ambassador to Syria over 'worsening repression'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-07

France joined Britain, Spain, Italy and Belgium in recalling its ambassador to Syria, Eric Chevallier (far right), "for consultations" on Tuesday. A foreign ministry spokesman cited Syria's "worsening repression" in announcing the move.

AFP - France has decided to withdraw its ambassador from Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, amid the ongoing bloody crackdown on a revolt against Bashar al-Assad's rule.

"Faced with the worsening repression being carried out by the Damascus regime against its own population, French authorities have decided to recall France's ambassador to Syria for consultations," Bernard Valero said.

"We have begun discussions with our partners in Brussels to reinforce sanctions once again," he added, referring to the European Union's economic measures against Assad's government and major supporters.

Paris's decision came after Italy, Britain and the United States also withdrew their envoys. Valero said the French ambassador would be back in Paris "within the next few days".

The Western powers have denounced the decision on Saturday by Russia and China to veto a motion before the UN Security Council to condemn Syria, and Assad's forces have stepped up their assault on the rebel city of Homs.

Meanwhile, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was visiting Syria, and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a new initiative "with those countries who stand by the Syrian people, not the regime."

Valero said France was following Turkey's plan carefully, but so far had little information about it. He called on Lavrov to use Russia's influence to pressure Syria into accepting a regional peace plan.

"We expect Mr Lavrov will use his visit to Damascus to make the regime understand its isolation and to support the Arab League plan, a brave initiative that must be the basis of any solution," he said.

The spokesman noted that on Monday, France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe had met with the leadership of the Syrian opposition in exile and had called regional leaders to discuss the crisis.

Date created : 2012-02-07

  • SYRIA

    Assad 'committed' to ending violence, Russian envoy says

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    US, British ambassadors recalled from Damascus

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Western leaders urge united action after veto 'travesty'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)