Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on Friday said that Syria’s downing of a Turkish military jet on June 22 was an hostile act targeting Turkey’s national security. In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA), Minister Terzi said that he joined in the remarks of Ankara that Syria’s downing of a Turkish military jet was “an hostile act”. The downing of your jet is an hostile act targeting Turkey’s national security. The Syrian regime is acting out of the boundaries of international laws. The dramatic side of this incident is that there is a risk for the regional crisis to spread, Terzi noted. There is a need to fully clarify the downing of the Turkish military jet, Terzi stressed. Italy is in great solidarity with Ankara and it has been reflected on the NATO meeting in Brussels, Terzi said.
All allies in Brussels agreed to strongly condemn Syria and have expressed that Syria’s act could not be accepted, Terzi indicated. Following Italy’s initiatives, the allies decided to closely follow the process and continue consultations with Turkey. The allies have given the message that they were in strong solidarity with Turkey. This was crucial, Terzi stated. One of the most important items on the agenda of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg was Syria, Terzi underlined. As we condemned the violence and massacres against the civilians in Syria, we reiterated our support of the plan prepared by joint UN and Arab League special envoy on Syria Kofi Annan. Within this frame, we decided to expand the sanctions against 129 persons and 49 corporations unanimously,Terzi stated. We can not hide the seriousness of the Syrian crisis, Terzi noted.
On Turkey’s EU bid, Minister Terzi said that Turkey’s desire to join the union was a bright aim. Italy has always supported Turkey’s EU bid, Terzi said. Our duty in Brussels is to encourage “positive agenda” accepted by Turkey and the EU last month and add momentum to the negotiations process. Some of the priorities for us include the beginning of solid dialogue for a visa-free Europe for Turkish citizens and to hold more close consultations with Turkey in foreign policy field, Terzi said.
In general, Italy believes that Turkey’s EU membership would bring development, prosperity and peace to Europe and the Mediterranean, Terzi also said.