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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Isn't it past time to recall the US ambassador to Syria?

From Now Lebanon:
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem warned the French and US ambassadors on Wednesday not to travel outside Damascus after they both visited the flashpoint central city of Hama earlier this month.

"We will impose a ban on any [diplomatic] travel more than 25 kilometers (15 miles) outside Damascus, if the ambassadors continue to ignore [our] guidance," Muallem told the envoys at a meeting broadcast by state television.

"I hope that we will not be forced to impose the ban," he added.

"We did not expel the two ambassadors because we had hoped to maintain better relations in future."

Both US envoy Robert Ford and French ambassador Eric Chevallier visited Hama on July 7 amid repeated large demonstrations in the city against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Damascus reacted furiously to the visit, accusing the US ambassador of seeking to undermine the stability of Syria and calling in both envoys for consultations on July 10.

The Syrian authorities accused the pair of travelling to Hama without authorization but Washington insisted Damascus had been notified in advance.
Either Ford should  immediately go to Hama or he should immediately go home. There is no value to his staying under virtual house arrest while the Syrian  regime slaughters thousands.

And if France does it first, it would make the US look really bad.