The United States closed its embassy in Syria and Britain recalled its ambassador to Damascus on Monday in a new Western push to get President Bashar Assad to leave power.
Russia and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution that backs an Arab League plan to promote a regime change in Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the Syrian leader’s departure is imminent.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the decision was made because “the regime failed to respond adequately” to U.S. security concerns.
“This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague told lawmakers as he recalled his country’s ambassador from Syria. “There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally.”
Also on Monday, France recalled its ambassador from Syria for consultations, media reports said.
The Italian Foreign Ministry said it had also summoned Syria’s ambassador in Rome to express “the strongest condemnation ... over the unacceptable acts of violence.”
Meanwhile, China is considering sending diplomatic staffers to Syria and will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Syrian issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.