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    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni speaks during his meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil at the Lebanese foreign ministry in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    Russian Participation Could Help Political Settlement in Syria - Italian FM

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    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that airstrikes are not enough to resolve the Syrian conflict, and Russia's involvement could be most effectively applied to finding a plan for political transition in the country.

    ROME (Sputnik) Airstrikes are not enough to resolve the Syrian conflict, and Russia's involvement could be most effectively applied to finding a plan for political transition in the country, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Monday.

    "Several airstrikes are not enough to [settle the conflict in] Syria. A plan of political transition is needed, which would lead to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad's resignation without leaving a power vacuum that may be filled by terrorists now. Russia's involvement can thus be very useful for political transition," Gentiloni told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

    The minister suggested focusing on "specific goals, humanitarian corridors, disuse of cluster bombs" along with discussions on political transition in Syria.

    On Wednesday, Russia launched its first airstrikes on Islamic State (ISIL) militant positions in Syria at Assad's request.

    According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the airstrikes carried out by the Russian jets disrupted IS' command system and logistics network and caused significant damage to the infrastructure used for planning terrorist acts in Syria and Iraq.

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    political conflict, Paolo Gentiloni, Russia, Syria
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