Syria: US, French envoys can't travel outside Damascus
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Wednesday warned the French and American ambassadors not to travel outside Damascus after they both visited the central city of Hama earlier this month. “We will impose a ban on any (diplomatic) travel more than 25 kilometres outside Damascus, if the ambassadors continue to ignore (our) guidance,” Muallem said, according to AFP.
“We did not expel the two ambassadors because we had hoped to maintain better relations in future,” the Syrian minister added.
Both US envoy Robert Ford and French ambassador Eric Chevallier visited Hama on July 7 amid large demonstrations in the city against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Following the visit, Syria accused the American ambassador of seeking to undermine the stability of the country.
“The US ambassador met with saboteurs in Hama... who erected checkpoints, cut traffic and prevented citizens from going to work,” a Syrian interior ministry statement said at the time.