"NON RINCORRO LE BOMBE DI ALTRI" [ITALIAN PM SAYS "NO THANKS" TO JOINING NATO WAR ON SYRIA] (07.12.2015)
«Se protagonismo significa giocare a rincorrere i bombardamenti altrui, le dico: no grazie. Abbiamo già dato. L’Italia ha utilizzato questa strategia in Libia nel 2011: alla fine cedemmo a malincuore alla posizione di Sarkozy. Quattro anni di guerra civile in Libia dimostrano che non fu una scelta felice. E che oggi c’è bisogno di una strategia diversa».
Centre-right opponents have urged Renzi to follow in the footsteps of Britain, which last week agreed to take part in missions over Syria, but Renzi told Corriere della Sera newspaper that Italy would remain on the sidelines.
"If being a protagonist means playing at running after other people's bombardments, then I say 'no thank you'," Renzi was quoted as saying.
"Italy's position is clear and solid. We want to wipe out terrorists, not please the commentators. The one thing we don't need is to multiply on-the-spot reactions, without a strategic vision," he said.
He compared the Syria bombardment to NATO's 2011 air assault against Libya, which helped rebels topple Muammar Gaddafi and then ushered in more than four years of civil strife.
He said Italy had been pushed by the then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy to take part in the air strikes. "Four years of civil war in Libya show it was not a happy decision. Today there needs to be a different strategy."
He added: "The one thing we cannot allow ourselves is a repeat of Libya."