- Muslim insurgents shoot then set on fire Buddhist teacher in Thailand
- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
DIPLOMATIC TIT FOR TAT
The United States and Syria this week engaged in a diplomatic showdown that resulted in Washington and Damascus recalling their ambassadors, as tensions increased over Syria’s bloody assault on unarmed demonstrators.
Syrian state-owned television on Monday announced that President Bashar Assad summoned Ambassador Imad Moustapha to return to Damascus, shortly after the State Department announced the recall of Ambassador Robert Ford because of threats against his life.
Mr. Moustapha has been Syria’s ambassador in Washington since 2005 and has fiercely defended the Assad regime’s crackdown on anti-government protests since demonstrations erupted in March. The United Nations says Syrian forces have killed about 3,000 unarmed civilians in the demonstrations.
“Syria is presently facing unprecedented challenges and, at the same time, opportunities for democracy, peace, prosperity and hope,” he said. “The events under way since March remain far more complex than what the international media has portrayed.”
“No government in the world, including the United states, would tolerate an armed insurrection, regardless of the motive,” Mr. Moustapha said.
The ambassador also denied that Syria has any contacts with Mohamad Soueid, a Syrian-American arrested earlier this month in Northern Virginia on charges of spying on Syrians in the United States who oppose the Assad regime.
The ambassador returned to Washington because of “credible threats against his personal safety” in Syria, said department spokesman Mark Toner.
Mr. Ford, a career diplomat who arrived in Damascus in January, has publicly denounced the killings of protesters. He also has angered the Assad regime by visiting demonstrators in flash-point cities.
The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee questioned President Obama’s decision to send troops to Uganda as she opened a hearing Tuesday on the U.S. mission to support the African nation’s fight against a brutal rebel army.
“We need clarity on the rules of engagement, the mission parameters and the definition of success, as well as how U.S. military presence in Central Africa furthers U.S. national security interests,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Mr. Obama cited a law he signed last year as his authority for sending 100 military advisers to help Uganda in its war against the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of Africa’s most savage guerrilla movements.
Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen noted that it “murders, mutilates, tortures, rapes and loots with impunity.”
“But we are not here today to determine whether Joseph Kony is evil. We know he is,” she said.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email email@example.com. The column is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- Senators deluged by complaints void 2-year-old flood insurance plan before 10-day break
- Justice Department refuses info on hundreds of prosecutor misconduct cases
- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- Warren Buffett's son to spend $23.7 million in effort to save South African rhinos
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again