“Horror and indignation”. This was the initial reaction of Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on hearing of the killing of the US Ambassador in Libya, Chris Stevens, and his three colleagues during an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi. “I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences to the USA”, said Terzi during his mission to Malta. The Minister added that Italy “condemns most firmly this terrible attack which must be investigated in full as soon as possible.
My thoughts go out to the families of the victims of a dreadful act that has struck the people engaged in a front line role in restoring hope and support to a people who wish to build their own future of freedom and democracy”.
The political process will not be halted
Terzi sent a message to the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing his “dismay and deep sadness” over the death of Chris Stevens and his colleagues in this “cowardly attack”. In his own name and that of the Italian Government, he offered his heartfelt condolences.
Stevens made a highly important contribution
“In recent months”, commented Terzi, “we have all appreciated the notable professional and human qualities of Ambassador Stevens, with whom we established a close and fruitful collaboration right from the start of the Libyan crisis. With his sensitivity and his deep knowledge of Libya and the Maghreb, Ambassador Stevens made a highly important contribution to the success of the rebellion against the Gaddafi regime and the new Libya’s democratic stabilisation process.
“Italy’s firm intention is to insist with the authorities in Tripoli”, added Terzi. “We also wish to offer, if necessary, every possible help to ensure that all the facts are brought to light and that those responsible for this brutal crime against the US mission in Benghazi are brought to justice”.