Britain calls in Syrian ambassador over embassy attacks

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Britain's Foreign Office summoned the Syrian ambassador on Wednesday over the attacks on the French and US embassies in Damascus earlier this week, it said in a statement.

Sami Khiyami was called in over the raids on Monday by angry mobs apparently sparked by two Western envoys visiting the city of Hama, a flashpoint for protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, it said.

Patrick Davies, the head of Near East and North African Department at the Foreign Office, "reiterated the UK's condemnation of these attacks", the statement said.

"Mr Davies also condemned the Syrian government's failure to fulfil its responsibility to protect diplomatic property and personnel under the Vienna Convention, which also guarantees the right of all diplomats to free movement."

He also "made clear that these were issues of direct concern for all diplomatic missions in Syria", the statement added.

The attacks by pro-regime supporters left three staff injured in the French embassy, while at the US embassy about 300 demonstrators scaled the complex's high outer wall before being chased away by US marines.

© 2011 AFP

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