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French ambassador returns to Syria

(Xinhua)

10:54, December 07, 2011

PARIS, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- French ambassador to Syria Eric Chevallier had returned to his post in Damascus after being recalled in mid November for security concerns, the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry's deputy spokesman Romain Nadal said Chevallier was back to Syria on Monday, local media reported.

According to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, France called back its ambassador to Syria on Nov. 16 because of "new violence" in Syria.

Chevallier was named the top French diplomat in Syria in May 2009.

Meanwhile according to earlier reports, the United States is also sending its ambassador back to Syria after a hiatus of six weeks, the State Department said on Tuesday.

"Ambassador Robert Ford has completed his consultations in Washington and is returning to Syria," department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

Press reports said the U.S. envoy will return to Damascus on Tuesday evening.

As the United Nations puts the death toll in Syria at more than 4,000 in the country's unrest so far this year, the Arab League and Turkey have joined the United States and the European Union in increasing pressure on the country by imposing targeted sanctions.

Syria has overtly charged that Turks and their western backers are behind the unrest in the country and even fund what it called armed terrorist groups it blames for killing hundreds of policemen and military personnel across the country.

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