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The Saudi Kingdom urged its citizens on Tuesday to leave Syria as soon as possible to avoid getting caught in a government crackdown on popular protests, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Saudi foreign ministry Tuesday urged its citizens to leave Syria and not to travel to the Arab nation that has been hit by months of deadly anti-regime protests.

“Due to the security situation, Saudi Arabia urges its citizens to leave Syria and not travel there,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

“The Foreign Ministry renewed its warning to citizens currently in Syria to leave swiftly and asked those planning trips there not to travel now due to the unrest witnessed by the Syrian arena,” the agency said.

One Saudi had been killed by Syrian government forces in the restive city of Homs earlier this month.

In turn, Kuwait has allegedly started taking the necessary measures to encourage its citizens, who are currently residing in Syria, to return home for their own safety, considering the unstable security situation there, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources.

Bahrain and Qatar Sunday urged their citizens to leave Syria after the United Arab Emirates also advised its nationals to stay away.

These decisions come just days after the Arab League slapped unprecedented sanctions on the Syrian regime over its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent, including a call to suspend flights between Damascus and Arab destinations.

Arab states in the Gulf have been at the forefront of calls to sanction Syria over its eight-month crackdown which the United Nations says has killed more than 3,500 people.

The Qatari and Saudi embassies in Damascus have been attacked during pro-regime demonstrations.

The Arab League on Sunday approved sweeping sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government — the first time the bloc has imposed punitive measures of such magnitude on one of its own members.

Measures include an immediate ban on transactions with Damascus and its central bank and a freeze on Syrian government assets in Arab countries.

They also bar Syrian officials from visiting Arab countries and call for a suspension of all flights to Arab states to be implemented on a date to be set next week.

DP

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