DAMASCUS- All six Arab Gulf states will close their embassies in Syria in protest at the year-long crackdown in the country, said Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) head Abdullatif al-Zayani early Friday.
Four more members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have decided to close their embassies in Syria over its violent crackdown on mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported late on Thursday.
United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar follow in the footsteps of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the other two members of the six-nation grouping, which announced they were closing their embassies in Syria earlier in the week.
SPA quoted GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani as saying in a statement that the move demonstrated a rejection of “the Syrian regime’s continuing killing and tormenting of the unarmed Syrian people, its insistence on the military option and ignoring all efforts for a way out of the tragic situation lived by the brotherly Syrian people”.
Zayani called on the international community to “take firm and quick measures to stop the killings, torture and blatant violation of the dignity of the Syrian people and its legitimate rights”, SPA said.
Before this collective decision, two GCC countries - Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - had announced the closure of their missions in Damascus. Saudi Arabia took the step Wednesday and announced the return of its diplomats from Syria, followed the next day by Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia, the Arab world heavyweight, has been highly critical of the Syrian regime.
Last August, Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador from Damascus and expelled the Syrian ambassador.
Its five partners in the council have done the same to denounce the "mass slaughter" committed by the regime.
Syria’s diplomatic isolation deepened on Friday as four more Persian Gulf states moved to close their Damascus embassies in protest of the violent suppression of a year-old uprising.
There was little evidence that international diplomacy had made any significant headway in defusing the Syrian crisis, which has left more than 7,500 people dead, according to United Nations estimates, since March 2011, when political activists energized by the Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere began protesting the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, who has responded with a harsh military crackdown.