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Italy a crossroads for Middle East – Kerry in Rome to relaunch talks. Bonino-Livni meeting

Rome is a diplomatic crossroads for Middle East negotiations. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the Italian capital today as part of an effort to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks, acting as envoy for President Barak Obama, who visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories in March. Kerry’s various and continuing missions to Israel and Palestine resume in Rome with Israeli Justice Minister charged with Palestinian peace talks Tzipi Livni and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Meeting with Emma Bonino

On Thursday 9 May, the U.S. Secretary of State will hold meetings with new Italian Premier Enrico Letta and Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino to discuss both the Middle East situation as well as some principal international dossiers, beginning with Syria. Kerry arrives fresh from a face-to-face in Moscow with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin on the possibility of finding a political solution to the crisis with Damascus. Minister Bonino will meet with the U.S. Secretary at the foreign ministry in Rome and a joint press conference will take place at the end of the meeting.

Bonino-Livni meeting: Italy’s hopes for resumption of direct talks

In a meeting at the foreign ministry in Rome yesterday, Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni had an in-depth exchange of views on prospects for the Middle East peace process. Livni, who is charged by her government with overseeing the Palestinian peace talks, was accompanied by chief Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho.

The head of Italian diplomacy expressed her firm hope that direct talks would resume, and that the atmosphere of mutual trust necessary in the pursuit of a two-State solution would be created.

Minister Bonino placed particular emphasis on the convinced support that Italy will continue to ensure, not least within European forums, to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s intense diplomatic efforts to revive the peace process. In that regard, the minister underscored that any solution would, in any case, have to include specific security guarantees for Israel and adequate measures for improving the economic situation and living conditions in the Territories.

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