Britain and Syria Wednesday restored diplomatic relations, severed four years ago when Britain accused Syria of sponsoring terrorism, the two governments announced.

Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd told the House of Commons that Britain had received assurances from the Syrian government that it rejects acts of international terrorism and will take action against convicted terrorists.The resumption of ties was also announced in Damascus.

A communique carried by the official Syrian Arab News Agency said the heads of interest sections in the respective capitals would be elevated immediately to the post of charge d'affaires.

The Syrian communique confirmed that the Damascus government renounced terrorism, but added: "Syria does not consider resistance against Israeli occupation as terrorism."

The Syrian government said Britain had pledged to try to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute, support the Syrian-backed government in Lebanon and work to improve ties between Damascus and the rest of Europe.