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Libya – Italy’s focus is on training police forces, says Terzi

Italy considers it essential to concentrate on the training of police forces in Libya, in compliance with international conventions. This was Minister Giulio Terzi’s assertion during a report he made with defence minister Di Paola on Italy’s participation in international missions before the joint parliamentary foreign and defence committees.

After the successful NATO operation in Libya, the minister said, “we need to actively support the new leadership, and Italy has a prominent role in that sense”. He also added that during Prime Minister Mario Monti’s visit to Tripoli, accompanied by Minister Terzi, “there will be an opportunity to design a road map of concrete projects aimed at strengthening the country’s political structure. The talks will centre on the aspirations of the Libyan citizenry and how to offer assistance in achieving them”.

As for the Syrian crisis, Terzi expressed his “concern” over what has become an “unsustainable situation”, adding that “we have repeatedly denounced the brutal repression and believe that the UN Security Council must speak out”. There is, he added, “the new aspect of a more active Arab League and we are maintaining contact with the Syrian opposition to offer humanitarian support”.

Afghanistan: Terzi announced that President Hamid Karzai would be in Rome next week to sign a long-term bilateral agreement with Italy. “Thanks to Italy’s contribution”, the minister explained, “some goals have been reached in Afghanistan that until 10 years ago would have been impossible”. He added that thanks also to Italy’s contribution, there are today in Afghanistan “institutions elected by reasonably acceptable voting methods; a constitution has been approved that recognizes women as equal to men, and there are 69 women seated in parliament; the country has a high literacy level: 7 million children now go to school as compared with 900,000 exclusively male students during the Taliban regime”.

Regarding European defence policies, Terzi underscored that Europe must continue to complement NATO, but must also seek to move toward the goal of its founding fathers: to have a shared military apparatus. “We cannot postpone our responsibilities as Europeans, “the minister asserted, “We cannot expect others to bear the burden of our national security”.

Terzi then returned to the question of human rights, whose “defence on the part of the Italian government is not only an ethical imperative but is also a response to our security needs”, explaining that violations of fundamental freedoms create conflict.

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