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Syria – New meeting in Brussels. Crisis solution remains priority

The crisis in Syria will be on the agenda of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Thursday 31 January in Brussels, discussions that will include a possible review of the arms embargo, although a decision may not be forthcoming until mid-February. The request to end the arms embargo came from the Syrian National Opposition Coalition on 28 January in Paris during an international meeting of more than 50 delegations, including that of Italy.


Donor conference in Kuwait


Meanwhile, a donors’ conference for humanitarian aid to Syria opened in Kuwait, where Italy is also taking part. Opening the sessions, UN S-G Ban Ki-moon launched an appeal to all the parties concerned, “in particular the Syrian government” to “stop the massacres in the name of humanity”.


Security Council must act, says Brahimi


The situation appears desperate. Speaking at a closed session of the UN Security Council on Monday, Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned that Syria “is destroying itself little by little” and that the UN’s major political body could not remain divided “in the hopes that better days will come”, but that faced with the daily massacres and a humanitarian emergency of 700,000 refugees, as recently estimated by the UNHCR, the UN “has no other choice but to remain engaged”.


Italy continues to support opposition


Italy too is heavily engaged in diplomatic efforts. “The solution to the Syrian crisis remains an absolute priority for the Italian government and diplomacy”, asserted Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi, who recently held meetings with some partner country colleagues and with the leaders of the Syrian Opposition Coalition.To the coalition’s president Mouaz al Khatib, Terzi reconfirmed Italy’s support for the Syrian people and the coalition, in terms both of finding a credible political solution that excluded the presence of Bashar Assad, and of the humanitarian front, with aid for strengthening internal institutions of the coalition itself from within.

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