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Italy blames Turkey for Syria fighting, seeks negotiations

Rome, Oct 15 : Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday pointed the finger at Turkey for its six-day-old military offensive in Kurdish administered northern Syria, urging an immediate truce.

He also said that the Italian government believes that a negotiated political solution is the only way to resolve the conflict in Syria, which cannot be resolved militarily.

"Turkey alone is responsible for the escalation and must halt its military operations immediately," Di Maio told the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday.

"These were the two messages that we actively worked on yesterday in Luxembourg," he said, referring to a meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers held on Monday.

Di Maio told reporters after the summit that the EU Foreign Ministers had agreed to half future arms exports to Turkey over its aerial campaign in northern Syria and said an Italian government decree imposing such a ban was imminent.

Italian authorities will also investigate current contracts to export arms to Turkey, Di Maio told the parliament on Tuesday.

He also called for a negotiated solution.

"Italy does not believe in a military response to the Syrian crisis.

"History teaches us how military intervention ends up further destabilising countries... Libya and Iraq are clear examples," he said.

The government is certain that diplomacy and political dialogue are the only way forward, and that the six-day-old Turkish aerial campaign in Syria must be stopped, Di Maio said.

"We need to deploy every possible diplomatic tool to halt the Turkish offensive," he underlined.

The European Union must send "a tangible signal" at its leaders' summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday and Italy "will not fail to make an active contribution," Di Maio added.

The US has imposed sanctions on Turkish ministries and senior government officials in response to the country's military offensive in Kurdish-administered northern Syria.

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Italy blames Turkey for Syria fighting, seeks negotiations


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