This site uses technical, analytics and third-party cookies.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of cookies.

Preferences cookies

EU Foreign Affairs Council – Syria: new sanctions against the regime

The EU foreign ministers approved a new package of sanctions against Syria. The decision was made during the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, in which Giulio Terzi is also participating. The Syrian crisis is one of the topics of debate, which include the Egyptian democratic transition, Iranian nuclear programme and violence against Christians.

Syria: more pressure on the regime

This tightening of sanctions aims at ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian regime. At the same time, according to Italy, the opposition needs to be encouraged to join forces around a common plan and promote an inclusive approach. In this sense, the 6 July meeting in Paris could, according to Terzi, be an “important step in encouraging the opposition, which is making significant progress, to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis”. Italy also believes in support for neighbouring countries absorbing the regional repercussions of the crisis, such as Turkey, which had a plane shot down over Syria, an event on which the EU expressed its “unanimous condemnation”.

Protection of religious minorities

Another of Italy’s major concerns is the defence of religious minorities, especially in the wake of the tragic toll of the latest bloody Sunday in Nigeria, where Christian communities are under attack in spiralling religion-motivated violence. Terzi will reiterate Italy’s operational proposals on religious freedom and the defence of religious minorities, urging that the issue become a priority of the European Union, which placed it on the agenda of today’s meeting precisely on Terzi’s insistence.

The EU ministers will also discuss the future of Egypt, a great and decisive nation for regional balances. Italy, Terzi explained, is confident about the future of Egyptian democracy and congratulated the country for the important step toward democracy represented by the way in which President Morsi was elected, along with his conviction that the bond of friendship between our two countries can be strengthened.

Teheran must comply with the demands of the IAEA

Discussions with regard to Iran will include the results of a two-day meeting in Moscow between Iranian representatives and the 5+1 Group. Italy is in favour of the full and effective application of the sanctions adopted by the UN and the EU, including the oil embargo, which are indispensable unless concrete progress is made in convincing Teheran to comply with IAEA demands in a timely way.

Finally, the Council agenda includes a debate on the European prospects of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sarajevo has made major progress lately in its journey toward the European Union, the presence of which now in that country, according to Italy, must be further reinforced.

You might also be interested in..