Factbox - Diplomats in Syria

Tue Mar 6, 2012 1:39pm GMT

(Reuters) - Here are details on the status of selected embassies in Syria in reaction to the crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad, which the United Nations said has killed at least 7,500 people.

Spain's foreign minister said on Tuesday it may withdraw its ambassador.

BRITAIN: Britain closed its embassy on March 1.

CANADA: Canada had shut its embassy in Damascus and imposed fresh sanctions on Syria, banning all dealings with the central bank, officials said on March 5.

EGYPT: Egypt recalled its ambassador to Damascus on February 19, state media reported.

FRANCE: President Nicolas Sarkozy said on March 2 that France would shut its embassy. France recalled its ambassador from Syria on February 7.

GULF STATES: Saudi Arabia, head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), announced on February 7 that its member states decided to withdraw all their ambassadors from Syria and also demanded that all Syria's ambassadors leave GCC countries immediately. The six-member council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

ITALY - Italy recalled its ambassador to Syria for consultations on February 7.

JAPAN: Japan has reduced the number of its embassy staff in Damascus. Before the reduction, the embassy had 12 members. A Foreign Ministry official declined to specify the size of the reduction, citing security reasons.

-- Asked if Japan was planning to close the embassy, he said: "Theoretically, if security has deteriorated to the point where we can no longer maintain the embassy, such an action may be taken. But, at the moment, we are not in a situation where we need to make such an announcement."

NORWAY: The Norwegian Foreign Ministry last month reduced its diplomatic staff to two from four, for security reasons.

SWITZERLAND: The Swiss Foreign Ministry said on February 16 it was temporarily shutting its embassy in Damascus for security reasons.

TURKEY: Turkey has not made a decision regarding its diplomatic presence. However, families of diplomats have been withdrawn and the ambassador is back in Ankara having returned for a National Security Council meeting.

UNITED STATES: The United States closed its embassy in Damascus on February 6. (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Robert Woodward)

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