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Italy seeks tougher sanctions against Syrian regime - FM

ROME, Dec 10 (KUNA) -- Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi said Saturday his government sought to toughen international sanctions against the Syrian regime.
Italy will continue its efforts within the UN to issue a new Security Council resolution "explaining for everyone the mechanism of economic pressure on the (Syrian) regime, Terzi said during a meeting of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), headed by Burhan Ghalyoun.
Italy is determined to impose stricter sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his aides," he said.
Opening a humanitarian passage in Syria "is a complicated problem in front of the force deployed by the regime," added Terzi.
Terzi, meanwhile, noted possibility of deploying Arab League observers in Syria to pave way for stability in some tense areas in order to guarantee delivery of relief supplies.
He said Italy would intensify its contacts with SNC which grouped "an important segment" of the Syrian opposition.
Italy's priority is to halt violence and restoration of stability in Syria, said Terzi, citing Italian assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Ghalyoun said SNC would continue cooperation with the Italian government in order to provide humanitarian, medical and financial assistance to the Syrian people.
He said up to 10,000 people were killed during nine months of violence in Syria, in addition to 20,000 missing and between 60,000-70,000 detainees. "The international community, Italy, Europe, the US and the Arab League can do more to persuade Russia which hinders any possibility for international sanctions against the regime." Ghalyoun denied that a civil war was happening in Syria "but a dictator regime seeking to oppress its people by placing his sects against each other." Al-Assad "is the head of state and commander of armed forces and has full authorities ... and distancing himself from responsibility means his admission of inability to rule," he said. (end) mn.bs KUNA 102019 Dec 11NNNN