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Italy-Russia: agreements for growth. Year of tourism to be launched in November in Trieste

“We’re working on a series of agreements that, once signed, will make a marked and positive impact on the lives of Italian companies and households. And we’re doing so as part of our diplomacy for growth policy in the framework of economic recovery”. Work on the agreements is on-going, in the run-up to the Italian-Russian Inter-Governmental Summit that will take place in Trieste on 26 November 2013. The announcement was made by Foreign Minister Emma Bonino at the press conference closing the Italian-Russian Defence and Foreign Ministers meeting at Villa Madama.

The Trieste Summit will also see the official launch of the “Italian Russian Tourism Year” (October 2013-October 2014). “We expect 1.5 additional tourists”, commented Minister Bonino who, with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, has decided “to use the energies of our fellow ministers, of the Economy and Economic Development, for a pre-Summit preparatory meeting”.

International dossiers

The agenda for the Italian-Russian Defence and Foreign Ministers meeting also included international dossiers such as cooperation on security, the Syrian crisis and stabilisation in Afghanistan. On security, Minister Bonino said that “the threat of renewed terrorist attacks is considerable. We have urged the thousands of Italian tourists leaving for their holidays to be careful, and have reduced operations in certain embassies to the essential minimum”, she added.

The Syrian crisis

As for the Syrian crisis, Minister Bonino underscored that “the toll of dramatic incidents and massacres in Syria increases day by day. A toll that leads us to reiterate that there’s no military solution to the conflict”. For this reason, we need to pave the way for Geneva 2. “We’re working to ensure that the Syrian opposition, which has displayed fragility and a lack of unity, can become sufficiently representative to act as a true interlocutor in Geneva”.

Foreign Minister Bonino said that, with her Russian colleagues, “we have left open the possibility of future discussion of how to provide humanitarian aid inside Syria itself, in the framework of the international community. First and foremost, through the United Nations agencies”.