The Syrian crisis will once again be the main topic for discussion at the Council of European Foreign Ministers, which takes place on Monday 11 March 2013. The United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, is also expected to attend the discussion, which will focus on how to support the diplomatic effort to find a political solution to the crisis. February’s Council decided to renew the sanctions for a further 3 months and to modify the arms embargo with a “review” mechanism and “flexibility” in providing non-lethal equipment and non-military technical assistance to protect the civilian population.
Support for the UN Envoy’s efforts
Italy and the 11 countries who met at the Rome Conference on 28 February confirmed their support for Brahimi’s efforts in a framework of stronger diplomatic pressure from the international community. The priority goal at the moment is to strengthen the opposition coalition, which is viewed as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The Rome conference also discussed the possibility of setting up humanitarian corridors to allow aid to get through to the population.
Terzi meets Ban Ki-moon: UN Security Council must end impasse
The Syrian crisis was also the focus of the discussion in New York earlier this week between Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Terzi told him of the outcome of the Rome Conference, which sent out a message of strong support for the coalition. Both men expressed concern for the resurgence of violence and the serious humanitarian emergency. They agreed on the need for stronger pressure on the regime from the international community to open a pathway to a solution of the crisis. In this light, Terzi and Ban Ki-moon hoped that the UN Security Council would end the current impasse.