05:20 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Syria, Egypt in Tit-For-Tat Envoy Withdrawals

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    Syria recalled its ambassador to Egypt on Sunday over Cairo’s withdrawal of its envoy in Damascus, al Jazeera television reported.

    Syria recalled its ambassador to Egypt on Sunday over Cairo’s withdrawal of its envoy in Damascus, al Jazeera television reported.

    The move comes as Syria’s violence crackdown against opposition groups continue.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr “summoned the Egyptian ambassador to Damascus ... and it was decided that the ambassador will remain in Cairo until further notice,” ministry spokesman Amr Rushd said in a statement on Sunday.

    A number of Western and Arab countries have also earlier recalled their ambassadors in Syria.

    Syrian opposition activists have called for a “Day of Defiance” on Sunday after security forces killed at least one person at a funeral in Damascus on Saturday.

    The shooting came during a visit by a Chinese envoy, who called on all sides in the country to end violence. 

    Zhai Jun, China's Vice Foreign Minister, also backed government plans for a referendum on a new constitution and subsequent elections.

    Meanwhile, government forces have continued their bombardment of the opposition stronghold of Homs. 

    Human rights groups say the 11-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has claimed more than 7,000 lives. 

    The government says around 2,000 members of its security forces have been killed combating “armed gangs and terrorists.”

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