Syria on Tuesday declared a number of Western diplomats unwelcome, in response to a mass expulsion of its own diplomatic staff by Western countries in the wake of the Houla massacre.
Ambassadors of the US, UK, France and Turkey, among other countries, were declared personae non gratae, along with other diplomatic staff.
“Some states recently informed heads of our diplomatic missions and embassy staff that they are unwelcome,” the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official SANA news agency.
The foreign ministry listed 17 diplomatic staff who were no longer welcome.
Syria “believes in the importance of dialogue based on principles of equality and mutual respect and that diplomacy is a necessary tool” for countries to resolve disputes, the statement said.
“We hope that those countries which initiated this step will adopt the same principles, allowing for relations to be normalized,” it added.
Concerned countries, including the US, UK and Australia, expelled Syrian diplomats en masse in the wake of the Houla massacre, in which more than 100 people died in one of the worst incidents in the county’s bloody uprising.