[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
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.