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US evacuates staff, EU ups pressure on Syria

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Hurriyet Daily News
April 26, 2011

The United States has ordered embassy families and some staff out of Syria as it hardens its tone on Damascus’s crackdown on protests, though without calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Italy, France and Britain have meanwhile called for an end to the “violent repression” against demonstrations, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy saying the situation was “unacceptable.”

The U.S. State Department late Monday ordered embassy family members and some non-emergency personnel to leave Syria, after an earlier travel warning telling U.S. citizens to leave the country because of escalating attacks on protesters.

Britain said it was working with Washington and the European Union to send a “strong signal” to Syria, while France also called for measures and joined forces with Italy to denounce the “unacceptable” situation in the Middle Eastern country.

“We issue a strong call to the authorities in Damascus to end the violent repression against what are peaceful demonstrations,” Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said a news conference following the French-Italian summit. “We ask all sides to act with moderation. We renew our request for Syrian authorities to act concretely and immediately on the major reforms that they have announced.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

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