Syrian refugees hide their face as they arrive near the border between Syria and Turkey at Reyhanli in Antakya
Syrian refugees hide their face as they arrive near the border between Syria and Turkey at Reyhanli in Antakya. All six Arab Gulf states will close their embassies in Syria in protest at the year-long crackdown in the country, said Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) head Abdullatif al-Zayani early Friday. © Bulent Kilic - AFP
Syrian refugees hide their face as they arrive near the border between Syria and Turkey at Reyhanli in Antakya
AFP
Last updated: March 16, 2012

All six Arab Gulf states to close embassies in Syria

All six Arab Gulf states will close their embassies in Syria in protest at the year-long crackdown in the country, said Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) head Abdullatif al-Zayani early Friday.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait took the step, he said, citing the regime's "massacring its people, choosing the military option and rejecting all initiatives aimed at finding a solution to the crisis."

Zayani asked the international community to "act urgently and decisively to stop the killings and massacres in Syria as well as the gross violations of the dignity and legitimate rights of the Syrians."

Before this collective decision, two GCC countries -- Saudi Arabia and Bahrain -- had announced the closure of their missions in Damascus.

Saudi Arabia took the step Wednesday and announced the return of its diplomats from Syria, followed the next day by Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world heavyweight, has been highly critical of the Syrian regime. Last August, it withdrew its ambassador from Damascus and expelled the Syrian ambassador.

Its five partners in the council have done the same to denounce the "mass slaughter" committed by the regime.

© AFP 2012

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