Italy recalls ambassador to Syria, urges EU countries to do the same

August 2nd, 2011 - 6:24 pm ICT by BNO News  

ROME (BNO NEWS) — Italy’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced it has summoned its ambassador to Syria to protest the government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters across the country. It also urged other European countries to do the same.

The announcement comes as the Syrian government has intensified its crackdown on anti-government protesters. More than 140 people were killed on Sunday alone when the Syrian army sent troops to Hama and other cities to control the unrest. Dozens more were reported killed on Monday.

“As a result of the horrible repression against the Syrian civilian population, Minister Frattini ordered the re-entry to Italy of our ambassador in Damascus Achille Amerio for consultation,” a brief statement from Italy’s Foreign Ministry said.

The statement also said that Frattini has proposed that all other European Union countries also recall their ambassadors to Damascus to protest the ongoing violence, which began in mid-March and has left more than 1,500 people killed. More than 10,000 others have been arrested.

In mid-March, pro-democracy demonstrations began in Syria and have continued across the country, which has been ruled by the Baath Party since 1963. Protesters are demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, who took over from his father in 2000.

Assad previously said that the recent events in the country are a conspiracy against national unity. The Syrian government has repeatedly claimed that the violent acts have been instigated by terrorists who use military uniforms and weaponry to pose as soldiers while attacking citizens.

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