Brussels: France will close its embassy in Syria to denounce the “scandalous” repression by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday at the close of an EU summit.

French Foreign Minister “Alain Juppe and I have decided to close our embassy in Syria,” Sarkozy told a news conference.

“What is going on is scandalous, there are more than 8 000 dead, hundreds of children, and the city of Homs faces the risk of being wiped off the map. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Sarkozy said.

He said the Syrian government's response to attempts to evacuate two injured French reporters, Edith Bouvier and William Daniels – finally evacuated to Lebanon on Thursday – has been “particularly unacceptable”.

Sarkozy also underlined that the EU in its final conclusions had recognised the Syrian National Council “as a legitimate representative of Syrians”.

“I am in favour of organising, at least on Syria's borders, humanitarian zones enabling people persecuted by the Syrian regime to leave,” he added.