UK: Syrian official not welcome at royal wedding

/ Source: NBC News and news services

Britain announced Thursday it had revoked a royal wedding invitation to the Syrian ambassador because of violent attacks on protesters by the regime there.

Human rights groups had criticized the decision to invite Ambassador Sami Khiyami to Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

More than 450 people have been killed since last month in the uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime, with 120 dead over the weekend, according to the U.N.

The government said ambassadors from all countries with which Britain has "normal diplomatic relations" had been invited to the wedding — some 185 in all.

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."

"Buckingham Palace shares the view of the Foreign Office that it is not considered appropriate for the Syrian Ambassador to attend the wedding," the spokesman added.

Prime Minister David Cameron's office said he also endorsed the decision.

The Syrian Embassy in London said it was not immediately able to comment.