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ITALY-USA: Foreign Ministry S-G Valensise in Washington

Political and economic collaboration between Italy and the United States, the situation in the Middle East and Mediterranean and Italy’s commitment to the stabilisation of the world’s main crisis hotspots were the focus of foreign ministry S-G Michele Valensise’s meetings in Washington with officials of the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council.

Appreciation for Italy’s international role

In the course of the meetings, which took place on 11 and 12 March, the American authorities expressed deep appreciation for Italy’s international role and importance within the European Union, along with the deep conviction that continuity in transatlantic dialogue, and Italy’s contribution to it, would be in the interest of both countries.

EU-USA free-trade agreement

In his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Bill Burns and Assistant Defence Secretary Jim Miller Ambassador Valensise examined bilateral cooperation, Euro-Atlantic relations and relations with Russia, the Balkans area and the Mediterranean, not least in light of Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Rome in late February. They also reviewed the next steps in the negotiation of a free-trade agreement between the EU and the United States, which could create a combined market of 800 million people. “The American administration considers Italy an important ally, recognizes our essential contribution to fostering peace and development in the world and is following the current political phase in Italy with great attention. I had confirmation of the U.S.’s strong interest and faith in a fruitful collaboration with Italy”, Valensise said after his meetings, which concluded with a lengthy encounter with American political and research centre representatives arranged by Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero.

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