Qatar closed its embassy in Syria and withdrew its ambassador from Damascus, wire agencies and TV channels reported yesterday.
Al Arabia.net said the Qatari diplomatic mission was closed after it was attacked by the supporters of President Bashar Al Assad twice last week, there was no official statement about the move, however.
The embassy was located in Abu Rumana, the posh diplomatic enclave in picturesque Damascus.
Comments on Al Arabia.net and Qatari social networking sites began pouring in as soon as reports suggesting the closure of the Qatari mission in Syria trickled in.
Commentators on both Al Arabia.net and Qatari social networking sites were largely appreciative of Qatar’s move and called on other Arab countries to follow suit.
But one Qatari commentator said he wondered what happens to the branches of Qatar National Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank in Syria which is currently witnessing a political turmoil.
“It’s a wise decision. All other Arab countries should follow suit and boycott the Syrian regime,” said another commentator talking of the Qatari move.
“Arab countries should this way punish the Syrian government for targeting and killing its own people in cold blood,” added the commentator.
There were more than 250 comments on the issue on Al Arabia.net and the participants were from across the Arab world, with Saudi Arabia leading the pack.
Some commentators were Arabs based in Europe — some of them apparently living in exile.
“Qatar is a small country but it is a regional super power,” wrote one Saudi commentator lauding Doha’s move to close its embassy in Syria and withdraw its envoy.
“All honest countries should remove Syrian ambassadors from their territories and close down Syrian embassies,” wrote another commentator, apparently upset over the killings of innocent civilians in Syria who are protesting for a regime change.
All GCC states should close their embassies in Syria. The highhandedness of the Syrian regime against its own people shouldn’t be tolerated,” wrote another angered commentator.
Qatar has closed down its embassy in Damascus not because it was attacked but to express solidarity with its people who are being targeted by the regime for rising in protest and demanding a change of guard, wrote another Saudi commentator.
“It’s a very brave decision,” wrote a Syrian on Al Arabia.net of the Qatari move, and hinted that the fact that the Syrian regime was targeting its own people should be a reason enough for all GCC states to close down their embassies in that country.
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