BEIRUT

Middle East

Romania's ambassador leaves Syria over security concerns

A general view of buildings damaged by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Terma area in Ghouta, east of Damascus December 2, 2012. Picture taken December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Karm Seif/Shaam News Network/Handout

BUCHAREST: Romania's ambassador to Syria has left Damascus to relocate in Beirut due to security concerns, the Romanian foreign ministry said Sunday.

"The security situation in Syria is significantly deteriorating, including in central Damascus, which has led to a reduction of Romania's diplomatic activities," the ministry said.

The ambassador to Syria will monitor the situation from Lebanon, it added.

Romania is one of the few Western countries that kept its embassy in Syria open until now.

Thousands of Romanian citizens, most of them married to Syrian nationals, have been caught in the conflict in Syria.

The authorities in Bucharest called on them to "leave Syria as soon as possible".

More than 42,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule erupted in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

 

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