Syrian envoy to France resigns to back 'people's demands'
Syria's ambassador to France Lamia Shakkour quit her post on Tuesday in protest of the regime, saying she recognised the legitimacy of the Syrian people's demands for freedom and democracy.
"I cannot support the cycle of violence ... ignore that demonstrators have died, that families live in pain," Shakkour said in a statement over French television France 24.
"I've informed the private secretary of (Syrian) President Bashar al-Assad of my intention to resign. It takes effect immediately," she said. "I recognise the legitimacy of the people's demands for more democracy and freedom."
"The government response (to the revolt) was not the correct one."
Shakkour is the first Syrian ambassador to resign since anti-government protests erupted in March. More than 1,100 civilians, including dozens of children, have been killed in the ensuing security crackdown.
Damascus has announced it would lift martial law, create a commission to study pluralism and offer a general amnesty, but its forces have continued to violently repress demonstrators.
The diplomat's resignation came as Western powers on Tuesday were putting together a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on opposition protests.
France, Britain and the United States were considering pressing for a vote by the 15-member Security Council on the resolution, even though China and Russia remained opposed.
© 2011 AFP