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SYRIA: Terzi, relief to the people the priority. Italy urges humanitarian truce

The priority in Syria is to bring relief to the suffering population and to devastated cities such as Homs, and to stop this systematic destruction of every point of rebellion against the power of Assad”. This was Minister Giulio Terzi’s statement upon concluding his mission to Asia, assuring that Italy is working toward a “humanitarian truce and access to humanitarian convoys”. Initiatives that the minister promoted in Brussels during an EU foreign ministers meeting that approved a new package of sanctions against the Assad. Regime. In the meantime, Terzi continued, “it is necessary to keep the pressure up on the Assad government and encourage cohesion among the opposition forces”. According to MFA special envoy for the Mediterranean and the Arab spring Maurizio Massari, speaking in the margins of a meeting at the Link Campus University of Rome, we are working in the context of the UN with former Lebanese President Amine Gemayel “with a view to fostering the evolution of the Russian and Chinese position”. “Diplomacy has made major advances”, Massari said, “but in order to be credible, the international community has to be united. What has become clear is that the Damascus regime has lost all legitimacy”.

Syria was the object of “special attention” at an EU summit of heads of state and government, Italian Premier Mario Monti asserted in a final press conference, citing confirmation of “the intention to increase pressure on the regime with additional targeted sanctions. “Those responsible for the violence will be made accountable”, he underscored, reiterating “support for the Syrian National Council and, at the same time, encouraging the opposition components to unite in peaceful efforts to give birth to a new Syria”.

At the end of the summit, EU President Herman van Rompuy announced that the EU would contribute to gathering evidence on the perpetrators of the atrocities committed against the civilian population in Syria, while French President Sarkozy announced that his country had decided to close its embassy in Syria.

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