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Dutch foreign ministry recalls ambassador from Syria

(Xinhua)

09:21, February 08, 2012

THE HAGUE, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador from Syria on Tuesday, following similar steps by several nations to ramp up pressure against Damascus.

The Netherlands follows France, Italy and Spain which announced they were bringing back their envoys after Britain, Belgium and the United States took similar moves.

"I have decided to bring the Dutch ambassador back from Damascus for consultations," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told parliament. "He'll probably travel back to the Netherlands today."

The Dutch embassy will stay open to keep in touch with the Syrian opposition and with Dutch citizens remaining in Syria.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have also decided to withdraw their ambassadors in Syria, and in the meantime demand Syrian ambassadors in the Gulf countries to leave, according to a GCC statement issued Tuesday.

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