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Gaza: Crisis on Foreign Ministers’ meeting agenda – common EU position needed to revive dialogue, says Terzi

The situation in Gaza will be the focal point of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, where Minister Giulio Terzi will express Italy’s deep concern over the situation in the Gaza Strip and the escalation in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, and its strong commitment to a common EU position to facilitate the revival of dialogue.

The Syrian crisis

Other very hot topics will include the Syrian crisis, in light of the opposition coalition set up in Doha and of the positive outcome of the EU-Arab League ministerial meeting in Cairo, and Libya after the seating of its new government, along with other pressing international dossiers. In particular, the European ministers will examine the results of the elections in Ukraine with a view to defining a common line on Kiev, analyse the future of the EU’s relations with Cuba and exchange observations on transatlantic relations following the re-election of Obama.

Conference on macro-regional strategy

Terzi is also scheduled to attend the European Commission ministerial conference on a macro-regional strategy. The event of priority importance for Italy, which has high expectations that the European Council will grant the Commission a mandate in December for an Adriatic-Ionian Macro-Region Action Plan that, as a result of an especially high degree of internal homogeneity and integration, would be a stimulus to European integration.

Turkey Focus Group

Terzi will also be participation in the Turkey Focus Group, consisting of Sweden, the UK, Finland, Germany, Portugal and Hungary, an occasion on which to reassert the need to strengthen dialogue between Europe and Turkey in order to support Turkey’s bid for EU membership. The agenda will include bilateral meetings with Serbian foreign minister Ivan Mrkic and Albanian foreign minister Edmond Panariti, centred on Italy’s support for the Western Balkans’ European prospects.

Finally, the Brussels meeting will also address the role that the EU, in conjunction with ECOWAS and the AU and on the basis of the recent Security Council resolution, can play in resolving the crisis in Mali, which was also the focus of a meeting in Paris on Thursday of the foreign and defence ministers of Italy, France, Poland, Germany and Spain to discuss a common European defence policy.