Rome, Jan 3 (IANS/AKI) Italy and other European Union countries need to intervene in the various crises engulfing the Middle East in an “effective and immediate” way, Italy’s Foreign Undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto said on Friday.

“The critical hotspots in the Middle East require effective and immediate action from Italy and the European Union,” Scalfarotto tweeted.

“Europe absolutely must make that quantum political leap….speak with one voice, move quickly and intervene with its full weight.”

The tweet came amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington after the US killed top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani early on Friday in a drone strike at Baghdad airport ordered by US President Donald Trump – an assassination slammed by Russia.

A day earlier, Turkey caused international alarm after its parliament voted to deploy troops to Libya to support the internationally recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli in its escalating war against the forces of eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The GNA has accused Russia of sending hundreds of mercenaries to fight alongside Haftar’s forces in Libya – claims denied by Russia.

–IANS/AKI

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