Amid fears of a collapsing government, Italy’s anti-establishment parties reassure the President that they will back NATO, but the use of Italy’s bases in NATO operations remains an open debate.

Lega Nord candidate Matteo Salvini, 2013

Lega Nord candidate Matteo Salvini, 2013 Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Fabio Visconti

Italy’s main political parties gave reassurances to President Sergio Mattarella that they fully support the country’s role in NATO, addressing fears about Italy’s future role in the alliance. Parties across the political spectrum were hesitant to support Italy’s direct involvement in any military action against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad but remained committed to the nation’s supporting role in upcoming operations. This comes after President Mattarella’s fears that the elections in March, which brought to power two anti-establishment blocs, will not be successful in forming a government.

Leaders of both anti-establishment parties, The League and The Five-Star Movement, have called for warmer ties with Russia, fueling fears among Italy’s NATO allies. Influential members of both parties have called for a diplomatic solution to Syria’s crisis but reassured the President today that they are committed to maintaining Italy’s traditional alliances. While Italy will not play a role in the direct military actions, there are controversies over the use of Italy’s bases for NATO operations. One center-right party, allied with The League, has argued that the bases should only be used if the action is authorized by the U.N. Security Council, whose authority has been stalemated by consistent Russian vetoes to protect Assad.

Fears of Italy’s populist movement were also fueled by a tweet from Matteo Salvini, The League’s contender for Italy’s Prime Minister. Salvini seemed to imply that the chemical attack in Douma was fabricated as an excuse to bombard Syria, and his tweet can be found below: