The US announced retirement of its Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who served in the Foreign Service for 30 years and has been working in Syria since January 2011, helping to launch the Geneva process.
"From the outbreak of the crisis, Ambassador Ford has worked tirelessly in support of the Syrian people in their pursuit of freedom and dignity," said Department of State Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, in a statement late on Friday.
She asserted, "As we continue preparing for a new Syria, his legacy will guide our efforts to support Syrians and lay the foundation for a more hopeful future." Until a permanent replacement is nominated by US President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate, the interim position will be held by Deputy Assistant Secretary, Larry Silverman. Psaki said that Ford's departure is "a loss, not just because of his contacts, but because of his expertise, because of his knowledge."