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Gulf Cooperation Council countries to expel Syrian envoys

The member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- have agreed to expel their Syrian ambassadors and recall their own envoys from Damascus, a statement issued Tuesday said.

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AFP - The six Gulf Cooperation Council states have decided to expel Syria's envoys and withdraw their own from Damascus over the "mass slaughter" of civilians in Syria, a joint statement said on Tuesday.

"State members have decided to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria and ask at the same time for all the ambassadors of the Syrian regime to leave immediately," a GCC statement said.

It said that there was "no point in them staying after the Syrian regime rejected all attempts and aborted all honest Arab efforts to solve this crisis and end the bloodshed."

The statement condemned "mass slaughter against the unarmed Syrian people" during the nearly 11-month crackdown by President Bashar Al-Assad's regime.

GCC states "follow with sorrow and anger, the increase in killing and violence in Syria, which has not spared children, old people or women with heinous acts that at best can be described as mass slaughter," the statement said.

The GCC urged other Arab states to use an Arab League meeting next week to adopt "all decisive measures in response to this dangerous escalation against the Syrian people."

The Gulf states' announcement came after France, Italy, and Spain said on Tuesday that they were following Britain and Belgium in bringing back their envoys for consultations. The United States has closed its Damascus embassy entirely.

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