Italy’s is an intense participation in the UN General Assembly under way in New York, represented by Premier Mario Monti and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, who are involved in a long series of bilateral meetings and conferences on major international policy issues: civil war in Syria, developments in the Arab Spring, the situation in Libya, the Iranian nuclear dossier, UN reform and the global economic crisis. On the subject of Syria, Terzi, who before leaving for the United States met in Rome with President of the Syrian National Council Abdulbaset Sieda, said that there was now “a sense of urgency to finding unity” in the awareness that the “stakes” were very high.
The situation in Syria
For the moment there is no clear change in Russia’s political position in the Security Council, even though Moscow’s is not a “dogmatic” approach to the Syrian crisis and is assessing developments “very carefully”. There is much concern over the question of Syrian refugees. On the more general front of illegal immigration, the minister pointed out, however, a “new sense of responsibility to their citizens” on the part of the countries along the southern shores of the Mediterranean. On Libya’s delicate transition stage, he said he believed, and hoped, that the events in Benghazi would not have a major impact on the country’s future.
Somalia and Kosovo
In a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kenya Sam K. Ongeri, Terzi discussed the stabilisation of Somalia, whose transition phase is now complete thanks to the joint commitment of Italy and Kenya. He also stressed the need, as Somali institutional consolidation continues, to place maximum attention on the themes of human rights and the protection of minority groups, particularly religious ones. Talks with Prime Minister of Kosovo Hasmin Thaci and Foreign Minister Enver Hoxaj centred on Kosovo’s European prospects, with the confirmation of Italy’s support for Pristina within the context of European institutions and encouragement to pursue the path of reforms involving the rule of law, public administration and justice.