Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Second Thought...You Cannot Come to the Wedding!

LONDON — Global politics trumped ceremonial protocol Thursday, as Britain revoked a royal wedding invitation to the Syrian ambassador because of violent government attacks on protesters there.

But critics continued to ask why the guest list had room for despots while former British prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, both from the Labour Party, were left out.
Human rights groups had criticized the decision to invite Syrian Ambassador Sami Khiyami to Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials at Westminster Abbey on Friday.

More than 450 people have been killed since mid-March in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime, with 120 dead over the weekend.

The government said ambassadors from all countries with which Britain has "normal diplomatic relations" had been invited to the wedding — some 185 in all — and that an invitation did not condone regimes' behavior.

But the Foreign Office said Thursday that "in the light of this week's attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces, which we have condemned, the foreign secretary has decided that the presence of the Syrian ambassador at the royal wedding would be unacceptable and that he should not attend."

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