Brussels: The European Union ambassador to Syria is to remain in Damascus despite an Italian proposal Tuesday to recall all ambassadors from the 27 EU nations.

"Our ambassador will remain in Damascus to observe what's happening on the ground," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The EU delegation in Syria is headed by Greek-born Ambassador Vassilis Bontosoglou, a longtime EU official specialised in trade and Asian affairs who was accredited to the Damascus office in 2007.

Italy earlier Tuesday announced the recall of its ambassador for consultation due to the "horrible repression" and proposed that "all ambassadors from countries within the European Union be recalled", the foreign ministry said in Rome.

Ashton's spokesman said however "that we have not heard of this being taken any wider".