9 Aug 2011

Arab ambassadors to Syria recalled

3:39 pm on 9 August 2011

Kuwait and Bahrain have recalled their ambassadors to Syria for consultations, following the example of Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Bahrain's foreign minister has asked Syria to act wisely.

In Egypt, the country's highest Islamic authority, al-Azhar in Cairo, has called for Damascus to end the bloodshed immediately.

Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said the situation in Syria had ''gone too far''.

''There is no other solution but to put an end to this Arab and Islamic tragedy,'' he said.

Meanwhile, state television in Syria says army units have begun to withdraw from the central city of Hama.

It says troops have completed their mission, and that life is gradually returning to normal in the city.

However, the army is reportedly continuing an assault on the city of Deir al-Zour for a second day.

Access to Syria is severely restricted for international journalists.

Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah said the foreign ministers of Gulf states would meet soon to discuss the situation.

Turkey is also stepping up the pressure. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu due in Damascus on Tuesday with what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said would be a tough message for President Bashar al-Assad.