Syria: Italian minister urges conflict solution based on UN charter
last update: July 17, 16:45
Rome, 17 July (AKI) - Italys' foreign minister Giulio Terzi has called for a solution to the civil war in Syria that is based on Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and described attacks on citizens by pro-government forces as "unacceptable".
"The reference to Chapter VII is important because it obliges nations and in this particular instance Syria to withdraw all heavy weaponry from cities and therefore to cease this terrible and indiscriminate bombing," he said.
Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter or founding treaty sets out the UN Security Council's powers to maintain peace. I
Terzi dismissed as "an excuse" Syria's embattled president Bashar al-Assad's claim that security forces were merely clamping down on "terrorist groups" in the country, where a rebellion against his authoritarian rule began 16 months ago.
"Anti-terrorist action carried out in this manner is unprecedented. It is clearly a pretext and is aimed at punishing wide sections of the population and repressing the political opposition.
"This is totally unacceptable," Terzi stated.
Fighting between opponents of Assad's authoritarian rule has spread across the country and on Tuesday intensified across the Syrian capital Damascus, where the military has deployed tanks and helicopters, activists say.
Witnesses say the government's military deployment in Damascus is the biggest since protests against his regime dominated by the minority Alawite sect began 16 months ago.
Rights observers say 17,000 people have been killed in the conflict
The United Nations has until Friday to renew the mandate for observers in Syria, and Western nations want Russia to back tougher measures to stop the fighting.
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