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Syria's Assad suspends special visas for EU diplomats

Syria's Assad suspends special visas for EU diplomats
FILE PHOTO: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP news agency in Damascus, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on April 13, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo   -   Copyright  Sana Sana(Reuters)
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Thursday that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad had suspended special visas for European Union diplomats to Damascus, confirming a Reuters report earlier this week.

“The Bashar al-Assad regime has suspended multiply entry visas,” a spokeswoman told a regular Commission briefing. “We are continuing as the EU … to do whatever we can to avoid it having an impact on the important work we are doing on the ground.”

The special permission to use multiple-entry Syrian visas for access to Damascus was rescinded at the start of January with no explanation from the Syrian government, EU diplomats told Reuters, complicating efforts to distribute humanitarian aid to civil war victims.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott)

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