Anger Over Syria’s Invite To Royal Wedding
Anger is growing over the news that Syria’s ambassador to London is set to attend the Royal Wedding despite his country’s bloody crackdown on protesters.
Dr Khiyami was summoned to the Foreign Office over the treatment of protesters
A spokesman for St James’s Palace confirmed Dr Sami Khiyami was still on the guest list for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Friday.
On Tuesday, Dr Khiyami was called to the Foreign Office to be told Britain regarded his government’s use of force against the demonstrators as “unacceptable”.
The Permanent Under Secretary, Simon Fraser, said the Syrian government should immediately halt all attacks against protesters and rein in the army and security forces.
The move was part of a co-ordinated action by France, Germany, Italy and Spain who also summoned the Syrian ambassadors in their countries.
The Palace spokesman said that the diplomatic corps element of the guest list was drawn up in consultation with the Foreign Office, and that all countries with which the UK enjoyed normal diplomatic relations were included.
“We take constant advice from the Foreign Office and it is not for the Palace to determine those countries with which we enjoy diplomatic relations,” the spokesman said.
However, shadow defence minister Kevan Jones expressed concern at the prospect of Dr Khiyami attending the wedding just as President Bashar Assad was unleashing a fresh wave of violence against his people.
“We could have the horrific spectre of killing on the streets of Syria while the Syrian ambassador is in Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding,” he told The Times.
The palace keeps saying this is a private wedding, but it’s a huge national celebration. There should be extraordinary sensitivity in relation to the invitations.
Shadow defence minister Michael Dugher
Malawi’s invitation to the wedding has already been withdrawn following the expulsion of its high commissioner in a “tit-for-tat” dispute with the African state.
Another absentee will be the crown prince of Bahrain who has pulled out in the wake of the violent crackdown on protesters in his country.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged President Assad to end the violence in Syria, which is reported to have claimed more than 400 lives.
Another shadow defence minister has criticised the decision to invite “some quite dubious people” to the royal wedding while former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had been omitted.
Michael Dugher told the Daily Mail: “It seems odd that two former prime ministers are excluded, but we have some quite dubious people being invited.
“The palace keeps saying this is a private wedding, but it’s a huge national celebration. There should be extraordinary sensitivity in relation to the invitations.
Source: SKY NEWS