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Paris, Rome urge EU foreign ministers to step up talks on Syria

Arab World Materials 7 September 2012 14:23
Paris, Rome urge EU foreign ministers to step up talks on Syria
Paris, Rome urge EU foreign ministers to step up talks on Syria

European Union foreign ministers should have "a substantial strategic discussion" about Syria when they meet on Friday at an informal gathering meant to focus on water and education, France and Italy have urged dpa reported

"What we do know for certain is that the crisis of the (President Bashar) al-Assad rule is an irreversible process," the two countries' foreign ministers wrote in a joint letter seen by dpa.

"The fatigue of the Syrian army, the extension of the conflict to Damascus and Aleppo, the increasing number of defections of high-ranking officials ... as well as the resilience of the Syrian armed opposition are all factors leading to the conclusion that the weeks of this rotten regime are numbered," they added.

The letter was addressed to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who will chair the informal meeting in Paphos, Cyprus.

The talks take place in a five-star hotel located only some 300 kilometres from the Syrian coast.

In her invitation letter to ministers, Ashton had proposed discussing water and education during the two-day gathering, as well as the topic that would be "the most pressing issue on our agenda at that time." Informal meetings typically do not yield any decisions.

The ministers should consider holding another "extraordinary meeting ... devoted entirely to the unfolding and the perspectives of the Syrian crisis," France's Laurent Fabius and Italy's Giulio Terzi wrote.

They suggest the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, which gets underway in New York on September 18, as one possibility.

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