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Interview detail

Mr. Minister, Syria apologised to Turkey for Wednesday’s shelling that killed 5 persons in a Turkish town. But the fuse has been lit and we have been witness for months now to a full-blown massacre inside Syria’s borders. Apart from accusations, what role does the international community have?

On the level of security, the UN Security Council – not the UN – is paralysed. Consequently the international community is impotent with regard also to the possibility of deploying the Syria mission that we Italians have long been hoping for in order to be able to have a real and decisive impact on stopping the violence. But all this will not be possible if the UN Security Council doesn’t work. In the meantime, we are working at humanitarian level with the refugees pouring into neighbouring countries, as well as with the Syrian population forced to abandon their homes to escape shelling undertaken by the regime in response to the military’s refusal to strike their own people. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has collected less than half the funds necessary to supply the population with what it needs to survive the winter.

Our Foreign Ministry has made a voluntary contribution to confronting the emergency. Politically, we must recognise the fact that there is no credible interlocutor.

The Syrian crisis is added to the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. With the possibility that the UN General Assembly finds itself having to discuss Palestine’s request to found a State. Is this the way?

Italy is in favour of the creation of a Palestinian State, as described in the 2003 Road Map, which called for a series of negotiations leading up to two States, Israel and the sovereign, independent and democratic State of Palestine, living alongside one another in peace and security. In order to achieve this end, I consider it urgent to resume dialogue between the parties. The current stalemate will not lead to the projected results. On the contrary, it only permits the development of dangerous situations that facilitate the radicalisation of extremist positions, both among Israelis and Palestinians. That is why I believe that, in this phase, the UN resolution cannot but lead to radicalising the confrontation, including the attempt to bring Israel before the International Court of Justice.

Hence my concern over an eventual UNGA vote on a series of issues that weigh like millstones: Syria, Arab Spring democracies and the stand-off on the Iranian nuclear programme.