Gulf states pulling ambassadors from Syria

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KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council says it is pulling its ambassadors from Syria because of President Bashar Assad's refusal to accept Arab attempts to end the country's bloodshed.

Tuesday's statement from the GCC says the withdrawal of the envoys will begin immediately. It comes as many European nations also withdraw their ambassadors.

On Monday, the U.S. pulled its embassy staff from Damascus.

The GCC statement was carried by the official news agency in Kuwait, one of the GCC states. The others are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. It also says the countries are asking Syria to recall its ambassadors.

The Gulf states have led Arab pressure on Assad to end his government's attacks on opposition groups.