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Gulf countries sever diplomatic relations with Syria

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will bring their ambassadors home, and send Syria's envoys packing.

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Foreign and finance ministers from the six Gulf nations hold a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 18, 2011, ahead of a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders the following day which is expected to focus on accelerating regional turmoil and fears of Iran's growing influence in the wake of the US withdrawal from Iraq. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images) (-/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Gulf Cooperation Council announced Tuesday its members were recalling their ambassadors from Syria and expelling Syria's envoys from their respective countries, Reuters reported. The GCC is made up of six countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar.

The GCC, which is comprised of countries fearful of Iranian influence in the Persian Gulf, has been critical of the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters, Reuters reported. Iran is Syria's closest ally and has threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, the economic lifeblood of the six GCC countries.

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The Saudi Gazette reported that "The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will soon recognize the Free Syrian Army as the sole and legitimate representative of the Syrian people."

The statement from the GCC continued: "The council considers that it is necessary for the Arab states... to take every decisive measure faced with this dangerous escalation against the Syrian people. Nearly a year into the crisis, there is no glint of hope in a solution," Reuters reported.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120207/gulf-countries-withdraw-their-ambassadors-syria