Italian Parties Pledge Backing For Nato Amid Syrian Uncertainties

Italian Parties Pledge Backing For Nato Amid Syrian Uncertainties

ROME - President Sergio Mattarella won reassurances from Italy's main political leaders on Thursday that they fully supported NATO after the crisis i

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ROME – President Sergio Mattarella won reassurances from Italy’s main political leaders on Thursday that they fully supported NATO after the crisis in Syria exposed rifts in the country’s traditional pro-Western stance.

While rallying behind NATO, parties of all colors said Italy should not take part in any military action against Syria following accusations that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had launched a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town last week.

Mattarella is seeking to put together a coalition government following inconclusive elections in March, but his task has been complicated by U.S. threats to strike out at Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran.

Although Italy has traditionally been one of Washington’s most loyal allies, two parties that performed strongly at the March ballot — the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement — have called for much warmer ties with Russia.

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