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Gulf Arab states close Syria embassies: GCC

DUBAI (Reuters) - Four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have decided to join other members and close their embassies in Syria over its violent crackdown on mass protests against President Bashar al-Assad, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA)reported late on Thursday.

SPA quoted GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani as saying in a statement that the move demonstrated a rejection of "the Syrian regime's continuing killing and tormenting of the unarmed Syrian people, its insistence on the military option and ignoring all efforts for a way out of the tragic situation lived by the brotherly Syrian people".

Zayani called on the international community to "take firm and quick measures to stop the killings, torture and blatant violation of the dignity of the Syrian people and its legitimate rights", SPA said.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced on Wednesday that their missions to Syria would be shuttered. Apart from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the GCC comprises the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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