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France announces it's closing embassy in Syria
France announces it's closing embassy in Syria, day after 2 French journalists escape
By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) ' French President Nicolas Sarkozy says his country is closing its embassy in Syria.

Sarkozy made the announcement in Brussels on Friday, a day after two French journalists, one of them injured, escaped to Lebanon after being trapped for days in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.



BRUSSELS (AP) ' EU leaders debated on Friday whether to withdraw all the bloc's ambassadors from Syria to protest the regime's violent crackdown on opposition.

They also were discussing a proposed joint statement that would call for those responsible for the repression in Syria to be held to account for human rights violations against civilians.

Some EU members already have decided on their own to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria.

Ending a two-day summit in Brussels, the 27 European Union leaders appeared likely to reiterate their call for an end to "the massive violence and human rights abuses" by the Syrian military during the nearly year-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.

A draft of the statement says the European Union remains "gravely concerned" by the situation in Syria, adding, "Those responsible will be held accountable."

The draft statement did not elaborate, but appeared to imply that the international community should prepare legal action against Syria's leadership in an international court.

British Prime Minister David Cameron expanded on that, saying: "What I think matters is building the evidence and the picture so we hold this criminal regime to account and make sure that it is held to account for the crimes it is committing against its people."


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