Italy’s role in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Afghanistan. But also the liberalisation process and the strong support from Parliament yesterday for the Monti Government’s line in Europe. These were the main topics of this afternoon’s telephone conversation this afternoon (26 January 2012) between Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and his British colleague William Hague.
On the subject of economic reform, Terzi underscored the significant impact that the recent measures decided by the Italian Government will have on Italy’s growth.
Minister Terzi and Foreign Secretary Hague also discussed Afghanistan, especially in light of President Karzai’s recent visit to Rome. Today, the Afghan President signed a bilateral partnership agreement with Prime Minister Monti, and his itinerary also includes a visit to the United Kingdom.
Iran and the European Union’s granting of candidate status to Serbia were the other topics discussed. At the end of their phone call, the two Foreign Ministers promised to set up a bilateral meeting at the earliest possible date.
In the evening, Terzi also spoke on the phone with the Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour. He reiterated Italy’s strong commitment in support of Lebanon’s stability. Evidence of this at the multilateral level is Italy’s return to the lead of the UN’s UNIFIL force, in the person of General Paola Serra. The General will formally take command of the UN’s military presence in Lebanon on Saturday 28 January 2012.