Syria expels Dutch charge d'affaires

AFP , Wednesday 30 May 2012

In latest diplomatic row between Syria and foreign governments over the latest Houla massacre, Syria responds by discharging Dutch charge d'affaires from Damascus

Syria ordered the Dutch charge d'affaires on Wednesday to leave the country, the foreign ministry said, in an apparent reaction to the expulsion of Syrian diplomats by a slew of Western countries.

"Syria is expelling the charge d'affaires of the Netherlands and gives him 72 hours to leave the country," a statement said.

On Tuesday, numerous Western nations, including the United States, Britain and France, expelled Syrian diplomats in the wake of a massacre of civilians in Syria over the weekend.

For its part, the Netherlands declared Syria's ambassador as "persona non-grata" to protest the massacre of at least 108 people in Houla.

The decision means Syrian Ambassador Mohammad Ayman Jamil Soussan, who lives in Brussels and whose mission represents Damascus both in Belgium and the Netherlands, will not be received by the Dutch foreign minister or its foreign affairs department.

The Netherlands closed its Damascus embassy in March to express the "revulsion we feel in the face of the appalling violence of the Syrian government," Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said at the time.

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