This would have been awkward. Syrian ambassador Dr. Sami Khiyami’s invitation to the royal wedding was pulled at the last minute in light of the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown on protesters. Kevan Jones, the shadow defense minister, warned the royal family of the diplomatic damage that would be done by the "horrific spectre of killing on the streets of Syria while the Syrian ambassador is in Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding." Labour politicians objected especially strenuously, saying it “bordered on the grotesque” that Khiyami would be invited while former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not. The Foreign Office called Khiyami to withdraw his invitation this morning. Asked if he was surprised, Khiyami said, “I wouldn’t say surprised,” but the whole thing is "a bit embarrassing.” Up to 450 pro-democracy demonstrators have been killed in Syria in recent weeks.
Unwelcome Fiona Hanson, PA / AP Photo