Britain Under Pressure to Withdraw Diplomatic Recognition of Syria
Britain was under pressure to withdraw diplomatic recognition of Syria and close its London embassy on Sunday after Arab League states called for ties to be severed with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, was forced to defend the presence of Syrian diplomats in London after Tunisia issued a call for Syria’s isolation and protesters clashed with police outside the mission in London.
The Belgrave Square building was behind a heavy police cordon yesterday after violent protests on Saturday morning led to several policemen being injured and six arrests.
The Government said any Arab League action to isolate Damascus would “weigh very heavily” in its considerations but that no decision had been taken to cut ties.
Britain maintains an embassy in Damascus as a “useful” source of information inside the country but has reduced staff numbers for safety reasons.
“We constantly review our diplomatic relations,” Mr Hague said. “We haven’t taken any decision to sever our relations.”