March 29, 2012 / 1:59 PM / 7 years ago

Belgium closes its embassy in Syria

LONDON (Reuters) - Belgium has closed its embassy in Damascus because of deteriorating security in the Syrian capital and in protest at the government’s use of violence against civilians, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Belgium is immediately recalling its ambassador to Brussels together with two other staff members, the ministry said. It will retain one diplomat in the country, based in the European Union’s offices.

Countries including France, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States have already closed their embassies in Syria. Turkey, Syria’s one-time ally, shut its mission there on Monday.

Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Ben Harding

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