Italian official meets Syrian opposition delegation

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Rome, April 16 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs Vincenzo Amendola on Monday met the head of the Syrian Negotiating Commission Nasser Hariri and several members of the top opposition body at the Foreign Ministry here, according to a ministry statement.

Also present at the meeting were SNC members Mohamad Jamal Soliman, Hanadi Abou Arab, Hind Kabawat and Abdulahad Astepho, the ministry stated.

During the meeting, Amendola thanked Hariri and the SNC for their efforts in trying to reach a political solution to the civil war that has ravaged the Middle Eastern country for over seven years, pitting rebels against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The intervention of the US, UK and France on Saturday morning was motivated as a targeted response limited to the chemical attack of Douma,” said Amendola, referring to air strikes on three Syrian government sites staged by the US, Britain and France.

“The use of weapons chemicals by the Assad regime can not be tolerated,” he underlined.

Italy has always condemned the use of chemical weapons as a war crime, Amendola told Hariri and the SNC delegation.

Amendola also voiced support for the UN-led negotiation process with Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura and a diplomatic solution based on UN Resolution 2254, which calls for a ceasefire and a political solution to the Syrian civil war. It was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council on December 18, 2015.

Europe will play a crucial role in negotiating peace in Syria, Amendola stressed, recalling the upcoming donor conference in Brussels on April 24-25 that will be co-chaired by the European Union and the UN.

Around 70 delegations are due to attend the conference entitled ‘Supporting the future of Syria and the region’.



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