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US bans Syria's ambassador to the United Nations from leaving New York

April 9, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The United States has restricted the movement of the Syrian envoy to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari, allowing him to move only within 40 kilometres from the UN headquarters in New York, similar to the restrictions that apply to Iranian and North Korean envoys.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters that: “We have delivered a diplomatic note to the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Mission to the United Nations in New York informing him that … he is restricted to a 25 mile travel radius near Manhattan.” Psaki added that the note was sent in late February.

The Coalition for a Democratic Syria, a pro-opposition Syrian American organisation, issued a statement welcoming Washington’s decision, saying that: “For the past six months Ja’afari was engaged in a series of propaganda tours across the United States to mislead people and sow discord among Syrians there.”

Psaki did not explain the reasons for restricting the Syrian ambassador’s movement.

The United States has taken similar actions in the past with countries it imposes sanctions on or does not maintain diplomatic relations with, including Iran and North Korea.