Britain revokes wedding invite for Syria envoy

In this March 3, 2005, file photo, Queen Elizabeth II receives the Ambassador of Syria, Sami Khiyami, at Buckingham Palace, London. It wouldn't be a wedding without an argument over the guest list. Human rights groups are criticizing the decision to invite Syria's ambassador Sami Khiyami to Prince William and Kate Middleton's nuptials while his government wages a violent crackdown against opponents. More than 450 people have been killed in the uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime. The government said Thursday that ambassadors from all countries with which Britain has "normal diplomatic relations" have been invited some 185 in all.
AP Photo/ Fiona Hanson/Pool
Queen Elizabeth II receives Ambassador of Syria Sami Khiyami at Buckingham Palace, London, March 3, 2005.
AP

Updated at 7:30 a.m. ET

(CBS/AP) LONDON - There's an extra seat at the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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

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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."

It said Buckingham Palace shared that view. 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.

The full Foreign & Commonwealth Office press release reads:

"Representatives of countries with which the UK has normal diplomatic relations have been invited to the wedding. An invitation does not mean endorsement or approval of the behaviour of any government, simply that we have normal diplomatic relations with that country. 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."