Syria: Terzi, army bordering on ethnic cleansing

Support for Arab plan for Assad exit and transition government

23 July, 12:27

(ANSAmed) - Brussels, July 23 - The army is conducting an "unparallelled massacre of the Syrian people" that "is bordering on ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity", Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said in Brussels on Monday.

"The violence at the hands of the troops is going well past any other action of repression that took place in the countries where the Arab Spring developed" and "is something that should not be allowed to exist in our world", he added.

The violence perpetrated by the Syrian regime also "creates the most favourable conditions for terrorist organisations," said Italy's top diplomat. "We are now in a situation of civil war and there is no doubt that jihadist organisations have plenty of room to put down roots in the country." However Terzi ruled out a Libyan scenario and military intervention, adding that NATO had met under article 4 of its treaty on Turkey's request. "Turkey has our full solidarity, but there are not currently the conditions for predicting a large-scale conflict," he said.

The FM also said he believed the EU needed to act outside the context of the UN, through diplomatic action groups and the group of friends of Syria, to solve the issue related to the Chinese and Russian vetoes at the UN Security Council and more generally to support the proposal of the Arab League, which on Sunday put new pressure on President Bashar al Assad to step down from power immediately in exchange for a "safe" exit. Terzi also emphasised the need to support the civilian population through humanitarian action and recalled Italy's response to the UNICEF appeal. "On a more general level I believe that it is necessary to support the Arab League proposal for the creation of a Syrian transition government and the conditions for Assad to step down from power and leave Syria," he said, adding that a transition government must necessarily be "linked to those people who are making great sacrifices to remove Assad" and that it must be "fully legitimised by the Syrian people". (ANSAmed).

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