Germany has no plans to fill Syrian envoy post: minister

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German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Tuesday that Berlin had no intention of filling the post of its ambassador to Syria after the previous envoy took a key EU job.

Germany's ambassador to Damascus, Andreas Reinicke, became the new EU envoy to the Middle East peace process on February 1.

Westerwelle said he had no plans "for the moment" to send another diplomat to take the job, a spokesman told AFP.

The United States closed its embassy in Syria and pulled out all its staff on Monday amid growing security concerns as President Bashar al-Assad's government intensified its bloody crackdown against the opposition.

Europe stepped up pressure on Tuesday as several nations recalled their ambassadors from Damascus and the EU considered new sanctions to cut the regime's access to cash.

France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands decided to bring back their envoys for "consultations", joining Britain and Belgium to protest the regime's relentless crackdown on the opposition.

© 2012 AFP

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