Syrian Ambassador Uninvited to the Royal Wedding
The Foreign Office tells Dr Sami Khiami that his government's use of force against pro-democracy protestors was "unacceptable."
LONDON -- The Syrian ambassador to London has been dramatically un-invited to the Royal Wedding at the 11th hour, amid mounting international concern at political unrest in the nation.
The last minute about-turn on Dr Sami Khiami's place on the guest list was confirmed Thursday by the Foreign Office, which said it had told the ambassador that his government's use of force against pro-democracy protestors was "unacceptable."
"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," the Foreign Office said in a statement.
The news comes amid mounting surprise at elements of the Royal Wedding guest list.
The decision not to invite former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown has been described as "a mistake" by former ministers.
Guests like Joss Stone, Guy Ritchie, Victoria Beckham and Elton Johnwill rub shoulders with friends of Kate Middleton's family - including the local postman from her home village of Bucklebury - and numerous overseas dignitaries including Sheikh Ahmad Hmoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Prince Seelso Berang Seelso of Lesotho and Yang di-Pertuan of Malaysia.
But the two former Labor Prime Ministers, who together held power for almost 15 years, were not among those invited by the Royal Household.
Former Foreign secretary Jack Straw told BBC news that he was "surprised" by the snub.
"I frankly was surprised that two former Prime Ministers were not invited…my guess is that reviewing the way that the guest list has worked, in retrospect I think the decision makers probably would have made some different decisions both in respect of former Prime Ministers and ambassadors being invited."