[QODLink]
Americas

US suspends diplomatic relations with Syria

Washington tells the Syrian government to immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States.

Last updated: 19 Mar 2014 05:37
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The US asked Syrian regime to immediately suspend all diplomatic missions [Reuters]

The United States has officially told the Syrian government to immediately suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the country, and ordered its diplomats to leave the country if they are not US citizens.

"We have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States," US special envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The order essentially closes the Syrian embassy in Washington and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas, and forces all personnel who are not legal US residents to leave the country.

It comes three years since the start of the bloody civil war in Syria that has killed more than 140,000 people.

The Syrian embassy in the US capital had been operating for some time without an ambassador and with only a few low level staff who had been providing limited consular services.

Rubenstein said the order responds to a decision by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to suspend its own consular services.

A message on the embassy website Tuesday said: "Please Note that Embassy of Syria would not be able to proceed any consular services starting Tuesday March 18, 2014. Thank you for understanding."

However, Rubenstein said the US wants to continue diplomatic relations with Syria and maintain a relationship if Assad steps down from power.

225

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
join our mailing list