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Italy / Middle East: the violence in Syria and Egypt is a source of concern for the international community

By Italy - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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ROME, Italy, November 22, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The violence in Egypt and Syria is keeping the international community on the alert. Yesterday, Sunday 20 November, the Arab League – which has already suspended Damascus as a member state – rejected the regime's request to change the mission of 500 observers to monitor the application of its peace plan, to “guarantee Syria's sovereignty and dignity”. Changes, announced the Arab organisation in Cairo, “that would have radically altered the nature of the mission”. The Arab League foreign ministers have in the meantime announced that they will be meeting on Thursday 24 November to decide on their next moves. The Arab line of conduct has attracted support from the new Italian Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi, and his German colleague Westerwelle. At their meeting in Rome the two ministers expressed their “deep concern” and condemned the repression being applied by the Syrian regime.

Terzi and Westerwelle also expressed “serious concern over the news coming out of Egypt on the violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces”. The two ministers appealed “to all parties to immediately desist from any further acts of violence”. They have invited “all the institutional and political actors to contribute to the creation of the calm atmosphere needed for a democratic transition”. The European Union has also issued an appeal for calm and restraint, without singling out any one party. Brussels, announced the spokesperson of the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, recognises that the transition is a difficult process, but order must be maintained with all due respect for human rights and with an open mind to citizens' democratic aspirations. The European Union hopes that the elections can take place in full accordance with democratic international standards. To this end, it has made observers and funding available.