Pakistan withdraws embassy staff from Syria

AFP , Thursday 13 Dec 2012

Due to deteriorating security situation, Pakistan has withdrawn its ambassador and all diplomatic staff from Syria, says foreign minister

Pakistan has withdrawn its diplomatic staff from Syria due to deteriorating security in the country, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

"We have temporarily withdrawn our diplomatic staff, including the ambassador, from Syria and they have all returned home," ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmed Khan told AFP after his weekly press briefing.

Pakistan's three to four embassy staff and its ambassador were evacuated because of the "deteriorating security situation", the spokesman said.

The embassy is not closed, however, and staff will return "once the situation returns to normal," Khan added.

More than 42,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the nearly two-year conflict to bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that the regime was losing "more and more" control and that an opposition victory cannot be ruled out.

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