Cairo - The head of the Arab Parliament, a committee of parliamentarians from Arab League states, called on Saturday for Arab countries to expel Syria's ambassadors and sever diplomatic relations over President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protests.
“(Arab states) should expel Syrian ambassadors and sever diplomatic relations and economic dealings (with Syria) until the regime complies with the demands of the Syrian people,” Ali al-Salem al-Dekbas, head of the 88-member committee, said in a statement.
Arab states have turned decisively against Assad in recent months over a crackdown on opponents of Assad that the United Nations says has killed at least 5,000 people in 11 months. Assad's government says it is fighting foreign-backed insurgents, and most deaths have been among its troops.
Western and Arab nations are trying to overcome Russian resistance to a U.N. Security Council resolution backing an Arab League call for Assad to give up power. The diplomacy has taken on new urgency since activists said overnight that Assad's forces had killed more than 200 people in the city of Homs.
Tunisia started a procedure on Saturday for withdrawing its recognition of Assad's government.