2 Mar 2012

UK embassy staff withdrawn from Syria

6:00 am on 2 March 2012

Britain has withdrawn its diplomats from Syria for security reasons, but says it is not breaking diplomatic ties with Damascus.

In a written statement to Parliament on Thursday, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the deterioration of the security situation in Damascus puts embassy staff and the premises at risk.

The ambassador and diplomatic staff left Syria on 29 February.

Britain will continue to retain a dialogue with the Syrian embassy in London.

The United States closed its embassy in Syria and several European countries recalled their ambassadors last month.