FRANCE, BRITAIN EXPELLING SYRIAN ENVOYS AMID MOUNTING VIOLENCE
- France says it is expelling the Syrian ambassador to increase pressure on Damascus amid mounting violence by government forces against civilians and opposition members, AP reported.
President Francois Hollande told reporters Tuesday, May 29 that Ambassador Lamia Shakkour will be notified "today or tomorrow" that she must leave.
Hollande said that in high-level discussions with British Prime Minister David Cameron and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "we decided on a certain number of ... pressure tactics to apply to Syria," including the expulsion.
Also, Britain is expelling the Syrian charge d'affaires and two other senior Syrian diplomats, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday. Hague said the diplomats had been given seven days to leave the country, according to Reuters.
The announcements came amid increasing diplomatic efforts to end the bloodshed and put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad. The UN said Tuesday that entire families were shot in their homes during a massacre in Syria last week that killed more than 100 people, including children.
Many Syrian opposition figures are based in France, Syria's onetime colonial ruler.
- 1453 The Turks occupy Constantinople, sack and pillage the capital of the Greek Byzantine Empire.
- 1866 Birth of Hakob Hakobyan (poet) in Elizabetpol (Gandzak). He died in 1937 in Tbilissi (Georgia).