News24

Dutch close Syria embassy

2012-03-15 17:34

Amsterdam - The Netherlands is to close its embassy in Damascus in protest against continued violence committed by the regime of Bashar Assad, Dutch public television NOS reported on Thursday.

"The shutdown is an expression of the revulsion we feel in the face of the appalling violence of the Syrian government," Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said in a statement.

The announcement that the Dutch embassy in Damascus is to close within a few days came after Rosenthal met with Syrian opponents in The Hague on Wednesday.

Rosenthal said the Netherlands would continue to back the Syrian opposition financially and also with technical equipment to provide access to the internet.

France, Italy, Britain, Spain and the United States have already closed their embassies in Damascus.

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had also shut down its embassy and had withdrawn its entire staff.

The Syrian government has repeatedly blamed "armed terrorist groups" for the unrest, which the United Nations estimates to have killed more than 7 500 people.