Last updated: 18 november, 2009 - 17:56 GMT

Syrian government reacts angrily to National Geographic article

The Syrian government has reacted angrily to an article published in the National Geographic magazine, calling it 'condescending and inaccurate'.

The National Geographic magazine

The National Geographic has defended its article on Syria

The article, written by correspondent Don Belt, described Syria as "a place where you can dine out with friends at a trendy café, and then, while waiting for a night bus, hear blood-chilling screams coming from a second-floor window of the Bab Touma police station''.

The article deeply offended Syria's government, and the Syrian ambassador to the US issued a point-by-point rebuttal.

Mr Belt argues that the article is an accurate account of life in Syria and the perception of those who live there.

World Update's Dan Damon brought together Don Belt and Ahmed Salkini, spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington.

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First broadcast 18 November 2009

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