Christiane speaks to two powerful women trying to change the military justice system.
By Lucky Gold
Italy’s Foreign Minister, Guilio Terzi, fresh off the NATO summit in Chicago, was Tuesday’s guest on Amanpour.
And he suggested, for the first time, that NATO’s patience in Syria is finite and that a clock is ticking for the ceasefire: “I don’t know when the negotiations would be arrived at,” he said, “But over the next four or five weeks that would be possible. At least starting in that direction.”
This was an unexpected statement, as many believe the Annan Plan is now in place indefinitely, since it appears to be the only alternative.
Minister Terzi disagreed: “As Kofi Annan said in the Security Council, the plan is not open-ended. The plan must be given a certain time to work and be fully supported, and that is what we are doing. But there is also follow-up. If the Syrian regime continues in this behavior, we have to measure and follow-up.”
Until then, he was asked, is the international community merely biding its time?
Said Terzi, “We are not buying any time, because all the major countries are very active diplomatically in the European Union…So we are pressing and we are showing strong urgency. But the regime has not shifted… I think with some more time, it will.”
Asked again about the four to five week timeframe, Minister Terzi’s answer was short and to the point: “We may say so.”
In the meantime he said, “We have to push in every possible way…We cannot see these people suffer so terribly. More than ten thousand, eleven thousand people have been killed. And one million and more people displaced.”
Europe is a great project
Foreign Minister Terzi also attended the G8 Summit at Camp David, and he was asked if the European Union is a lost cause – can the euro be saved?
Once again, he seemed to sound a new note – one of unexpected optimism: “It is going to be not only saved but Europe is a great project.”
“Our vision on the further integration – economic, fiscal, budgetary, but especially political integration – in Europe is there, is very clear, I say with all twenty seven (partners). But within the eurozone there is a specific reason to be (optimistic) because there is no point of return (to the pre-EU days) in terms of the eurozone.”
That encouraging viewpoint even extended to Greece, now facing an election and threatening to withdraw from the euro: “There is no doubt that the Greek situation is a challenge, especially after the election. And we expect that the Greek public is going to consider properly for the next election what it means to remain in the eurozone and what the alternative – extremely negative and dramatic could be.”
He added, "On our side there is a lot of confidence and a lot of will to help Greece…I am sure Greeks understand the importance of the European Union project.”
Minister Terzi went on to address the angry mood that has gripped Europe’s taxpayers – from Ireland to Spain: “In every situation, economic downturn, economic devastation as we have been going through over the last four or five years for a crisis that was not originated in Europe, as we know – in every situation of this kind, government parties in power, or parties with government experience, are going to suffer. That’s a logical conclusion. So how do we fix? We fix by being credible in the management of the economy.”