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Syria expels ambassadors of Tunisia, Libya

(Xinhua)

10:34, February 12, 2012

DAMASCUS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday that Damascus has given the ambassadors of Libya and Tunisia 72 hours to leave Syria.

The Syrian embassy in Qatar was also closed, and Syrian ambassadors to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also been called back, Syria's Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said during a meeting with reporters.

The expulsion of diplomatic missions of Libya and Tunisia came apparently in retaliation to similar actions taken against Syrian diplomats in those countries.

Tunisia was the first Arab country to announce the decision to expel Syria's ambassador and to cut relations with the Syrian government.

Also, Libyan Foreign Ministry on Thursday announced its decision to expel Syria's charge d'affaires and his staff, adding that it expects all Syrian diplomats to leave the country within the next 72 hours.

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 earlier this month.

The Arab decisions to cut diplomatic relations with Syria came to protest the government's crackdown on protesters.

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