Gentiloni was in the Russian capital today for a meeting with his counterpart Serghei Lavrov. The Syrian crisis and the current negotiations in Geneva were the main items on the agenda.
Today’s visit, Minister Gentiloni said, was an opportunity to review political and economic relations between the two countries, particularly in view of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s participation in the St Petersburg Forum, and to discuss the regional crises in the Mediterranean.
The first matter under discussion was Libya. Minister Gentiloni explained that the time available to establish a government of national unity in the country “is not unlimited and we all have to work together to ensure this government can be established in Tripoli as soon as possible and can start working to stabilise the country”, making it clear that for now “there are no military missions ready to leave”. “There is definitely some availability and Italy is coordinating this availability” he pointed out.
Fight against terrorism
The other issues discussed included the fight against terrorism, which “requires cooperation between military services and intelligence in the various countries, including Russia”.
Peace process in Syria
The Minister also stressed that Russia played “a role of fundamental importance” in the Syrian peace process, while however pointing out that we must be “aware that if the truce is not accompanied by political progress there is a risk of fragility” and of the intended results not being achieved.
Palmyra: an opportunity to use the Blue Berets of Culture
Commenting on developments on the ground, Gentiloni then added that “there is now a chance that Palmyra may be liberated” and that this is an opportunity to test the blue berets of culture initiative and provide active support to Unesco.