Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi issued a final plea against the execution of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, calling on "wisdom and magnanimity to prevail".
"I issue a final and sad plea for wisdom and magnanimity to prevail", he said on Friday, according the ANSA news agency.
Prodi's plea came as Iraqi officials finalised plans for the execution amid reports he could be hanged within hours.
The governments of Brazil and Chile, which opposed the US-led war in Iraq, voiced opposition to the death penalty for former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein on human rights grounds.
Statements by officials of the two Latin American countries came on Friday amid a flurry of signs the former dictator's execution by hanging for a 1982 massacre could come within days, if not hours.
The Brazilian foreign ministry said the execution would not help end the violence in Iraq and argued the US-led invasion that led to his capture and trial had lacked international legitimacy.
The Chilean undersecretary for foreign affairs, Alberto Van Klaveren, objected to the speed of the execution following the Iraqi leader's sentencing.
"We have closely followed what occurred in the trial against Saddam Hussein. We believe the application of the death penalty in such a swift manner is contrary to our principles," Van Klaveren told Radio Biobio.