U.S. ambassador in Hama to support Syria protesters

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 07, 2011 1:44 PM
U.S. ambassador in Hama to support Syria protesters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Syria has traveled to the restive city of Hama to show solidarity with protesters as Syrian security forces step up efforts to isolate the area, the State Department said on Thursday.

Ambassador Robert Ford has met with about a dozen Hama residents during his trip, and hopes to stay in the city through Friday when more protests are planned, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

"The fundamental intention ... was to make absolutely clear with his physical presence that we stand with those Syrians who are expressing their right to speak for change, who want a democratic future and who are expressing those views peacefully," Nuland said.

(Writing by Andy Quinn; Editing by Warren Strobel and Eric Walsh)