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Syrian ambassador not welcome at royal wedding, UK says

By the CNN Wire Staff
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Syrian ambassador would not be welcome at Westminster Abbey.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Syrian ambassador would not be welcome at Westminster Abbey.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Libya's ambassador was not invited but Yemen's was, the Foreign Office says
  • The Syrian envoy is told he is not welcome after Syrian security forces attack civilians
  • Diplomats in London were invited to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
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London (CNN) -- Syria's ambassador to the United Kingdom is not welcome at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Foreign Office announced Thursday, after saying earlier he had been invited.

The reversal comes "in the light of this week's attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces, which we have condemned," the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"The presence of the Syrian Ambassador at the Royal Wedding would be unacceptable," Foreign Secretary William Hague decided, according to the statement.

"Buckingham Palace shares the view of the Foreign Office," the statement said.

"It is most regretful, because my staff and I have been working hard over the years to maintain the best possible ties between the UK and Syria," Ambassador Sami Khiyami said.

"I would like, on this occasion, to wish the Royal couple a memorable Wedding Day and happiness for the future."

Libya's ambassador was not invited to the wedding because relations between London and Tripoli "are clearly not normal," the Foreign Office said.

Yemen's ambassador was invited, the Foreign Office said.

The Crown Prince of Bahrain pulled out of plans to attend the wedding over the weekend, his office announced.

All four Middle Eastern countries are facing widespread protests against their governments, with the Libyan demonstrations escalating into civil war. Britain, along with other NATO countries, has been bombing forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to protect civilians as authorized by the United Nations.

Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, is marrying his college girlfriend, Kate Middleton, at Westminster Abbey in London on Friday. The entire diplomatic corps was invited as a matter of protocol.

CNN's Carol Jordan and Stephanie Halasz contributed to this report.