BUCHAREST: Romanian on Thursday urged its nationals living in Syria to leave the country as soon as possible due to the deteriorating security situation in the war torn country.
"The foreign ministry reiterates its recommendation to urgently leave Syria," it said in a statement.
Between 12,000 and 14,000 Romanians live in Syria, according to the foreign ministry, the majority married to Syrians. Five hundred have been evacuated since the start of the conflict in March 2011.
Romania has reduced the number of diplomatic staff but has kept its embassy in Damascus open.
Its renewed call for citizens to leave the country came amid expectation that the U.S. and its allies were readying to launch air strikes to punish the regime in Damascus for alleged chemical weapons attacks.
Romanian President Traian Basescu has said Bucharest will support any decision by the West to launch military action against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.