Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi received US Special Envoy for the Middle East David Hale in Rome today.
The minister assured Hale of Italy’s continuing and “strongly convinced” support for US efforts at encouraging the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, referring to this as “the only path to relaunching the peace process and the pursuit of a two-State solution – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security with the other nations of the region”.
Expressing his hope in the European Union’s increasingly incisive action in fostering the revival of negotiations, the minister asserted that, in outlining the negotiation framework, defence of Israel’s legitimate need for security would have be to be assured, which, as Terzi pointed out, is “an essential element in the success of any negotiation”. At the same time, Terzi informed Hale of “concerns about several of Israel’s decisions regarding the settlements, which could complicate prospects for the talks”.
Terzi also made reference, with “strong apprehension” to the “Palestinian Authorities’ difficult financial situation”, and hoped in this regard in the “strong and concerted commitment of the United States, the European Union and the Arab League member states to improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people”.
Finally, Minister Terzi confirmed Italy’s commitment to facilitating better control of the Gaza situation, underscoring the importance of reactivating the EU’s border assistance mission (EUBAM), currently led by Italy, as well as of the use of international instruments for the prevention of weapons trafficking.