US ambassador hopes to be back in Syria next month

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who was abruptly withdrawn this week because of security threats, hopes to return to Damascus before the end of November, the State Department said Wednesday.

"Let me just say he has bought his Thanksgiving turkey for his embassy staff, and he wants very much to have Thanksgiving dinner for his folks there. So that's our expectation, it will be sometime before Thanksgiving," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The Thanksgiving holiday falls on November 24 this year.

On Monday, the State Department said Ford was pulled out of Damascus because of "credible threats against his personal safety in Syria."

Ford had assumed a high profile in Syria, traveling to the focal points of protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to show US support for democratic change.

"When he does go back we expect the government to do a better job of meeting their Vienna Convention obligations to keep him safe and to keep all of our personnel safe," Nuland said.

AFP

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