Last updated: 29 May, 2012

Australia expels two Syrian diplomats over massacre

Australia Tuesday expelled two Syrian diplomats in response to the massacre at Houla of more than 100 people with Foreign Minister Bob Carr saying he expected other countries to follow suit.

Syrian charge d’affaires Jawdat Ali was notified of Carr’s decision to expel him and one other diplomat within 72 hours, a day after he was called in to meet with officials over the killings which sparked global condemnation.

“The Syrian government can expect no further official engagement with Australia until it abides by the UN ceasefire and takes active steps to implement the peace plan agreed with Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan,” Carr said.

“This massacre of more than 100 men, women and children in Houla was a hideous and brutal crime.”

Carr said Ali had been advised to convey a clear message to Damascus that “Australians are appalled by this massacre and we will pursue a unified international response to hold those responsible to account.”

He said Australia took the action “with other nations around the world” and he expected similar announcements to be made in other capitals soon.