Foreign Minister Summons Syrian Charge d’ Affaires
“I wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent atrocities that took place in El-Houleh, which led to the death of more than 90 civilians, including women and young children. I also wish to join the international calls demanding the thorough independent investigation of this heinous act, which amounts to crimes against humanity.
Cyprus calls upon the Syrian Government to immediately implement the provisions of the Annan Plan in its entirety in order to avoid a full scale sectarian war with spillover effects and unpredictable humanitarian and security challenges for the entire region. The utter indignation of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the massacre in El-Houleh was expressed during the summoning to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Charge d’ Affaires in Cyprus on 29 May 2012.”
Earlier this week, the UK and several other countries including France and Canada expelled Syrian diplomats following the deaths El Houleh on May 25th.
"This is a direct response to horrific killings in el-Houleh and an expression of international outrage at Syrian regime's inhumane repression," said a statement from the UK Foreign Office.
Foreign Secretary William Hague expelled Syria's most senior diplomat in the UK in the latest reaction against President Bashar al Assad's crackdown on anti-government protestors.
The UN Security Council has also condemned the killings with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saying that there were shootings at close range and severe physical abuse. The UN has called for the Syrian government to withdraw its troops and cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres. According to the UN's latest estimates, more than 9000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands have been displaced since the uprising against Assad began 14 months ago.
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