Germany expels four Syrian diplomats

2012-02-09 21:47

Berlin - German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday Germany was expelling four diplomats from the Syrian embassy in Berlin after the arrest of two men suspected of spying on regime opponents.

"After the arrest of two people suspected of spying for Syria, I have decided to expel four members of the Syrian embassy in Berlin," Westerwelle said in a statement.

"The Syrian ambassador has been informed of this decision," he said, adding that the diplomats and their families now have three days to leave the country.

There were "clear indications" that the four had carried out "acts not in accordance with diplomatic law", diplomatic sources said.

Further steps against Syrian embassy staff could not be ruled out if it emerged the Damascus regime was continuing to interfere with opposition figures and Syrians in Germany, they added.

Two men, identified only as 47-year-old German-Lebanese citizen Mahmoud El A and 34-year-old Syrian national Akram O, were arrested in Berlin on Tuesday.

Westerwelle summoned Syria's ambassador following the arrests.

"The position of the federal government was made unmistakably clear at this meeting that the possible action against the Syrian opposition in Germany will not be tolerated," the ministry said.

The German foreign minister also said he had spoken by phone with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday and with Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi on Thursday.

New momentum needed

"We must not change our commitment towards the Syrian people who are enduring so much suffering but, quite the opposite, further strengthen our efforts," he said.

And he called for new momentum in resolving the crisis in which rights groups estimate that more than 6 000 people have died in the regime crackdown on protests since mid-March.

He said a proposal for a joint observer mission by the Arab League and UN was "wise".

"And from our point of view it would even be useful to consider nominating a special UN envoy for the Syrian conflict," he added.

In late December, a Berlin local politician active in the Syrian opposition was attacked by two men in his home in a case the German foreign ministry said it was following closely.

The man's party, the Greens, said it suspected that the Syrian secret services were behind the assault.

No suspects have been identified in the case.

Read more on:    arab league  |  guido westerwelle  |  syria  |  germany
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.