Qatar closes diplomatic mission in Syria
Islam Times - The Qatari embassy in Syria has suspended all its diplomatic activities to an indefinite time following demonstrations against the mission's activities inside the Arab country.
Islam Times reports from Reuters: Qatar has pulled out its ambassador to Damascus, Zayed al-Khayarine, and suspended its mission in the Abu Rummaneh neighborhood of the Syrian capital in the aftermath of attacks on the compound.
“Members of the Qatari diplomatic mission have informed us that work in the embassy is suspended," a Syrian employee at the embassy, declining to be identified, said.
"They have also informed us that all diplomats of the embassy and its consular affairs section will leave for Qatar," he added.
The move came more than a week after protesters threw stones, eggs and tomatoes at the Qatari embassy in protest against the Doha-based news broadcaster al-Jazeera's coverage of the unrest in Syria.
Al-Jazeera satellite news channel has recently come under strong criticism by the Syrian authorities for "lies" and of "exaggeration" in its coverage of the anti-government protests.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has recently said Qatar is "officially supporting the Syrian stand but not through the al-Jazeera channel."
Meanwhile, there are reports that the United States and French embassies in Syria are using the Saudi and Qatari embassies as a base for foreign diplomats and US forces.
Demonstrators have rallied in front of the US and French embassies in Damascus to voice their outrage at the American and French intervention in Syria's domestic affairs.
Since mid-March, Syria has been struggling with weeks of protests that have left hundreds of people dead, including members of the security forces.
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