Syrian ambassador calls diplomatic expulsions "hasty"

May 31, 2012 9:32 am 

MOSCOW, May 30 — The expulsion of Syrian diplomats from a number of countries was a hasty decision, the Syrian ambassador to Russia said Wednesday.

"I believe the countries which took that decision have rushed very much. What is the ground for that decision? There is no results of investigation, why did they decide the (Syrian) authorities were responsible for that tragedy?," Riyad Haddad told local media.

The United States and many of its allies Tuesday announced the expulsion of Syrian diplomats from their countries in a coordinated move to step up pressure on Damascus after the weekend's mass killings of civilians.

Western countries appeared convinced that the Syrian military was behind the assaults in the town of Houla that killed 108 civilians and injured 300 more, despite repeated denials by the Syrian government.

Damascus so far has not been planning any tit-for-tat action, Haddad said, adding that authorities would soon complete an investigation of the mass killings.

"Authorities promptly ordered to set up a military commission to investigate the incident. The results should appear tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Our leadership immediately called in the international monitors working in Syria so they could see everything with their own eyes," Haddad said.

The diplomat said Damascus would coordinate actions with Moscow and might let U.N. investigators come to Syria.

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the U.N. and Arab League's envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan that Moscow considered it necessary to hold an "unbiased" international investigation of the Houla tragedy. (PNA/Xinhua) dct/RSV/mmg

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