Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Hon. Lapo Pistelli, will visit the Middle East from tomorrow, Sunday 26 April to Thursday 30 April.
The mission — which will include stops in Israel, Palestine and Lebanon — has a full agenda that will includes visits to major Italian Development Cooperation projects in the region and meetings with the civil society and high level institutional representatives, and is aimed at strengthening and developing Italy’s important ties with those countries.
In Israel, the Hon. Pistelli will participate in the event “Liberating Italy, Dreaming of Israel”, organised by the Embassy of Italy for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Italy. The event will take place in the evocative setting of the Hall of Independence in Tel Aviv, and participants will include top level Israelis such as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzachi Hanagbi and members of the family of Enzo Sereni, Italian anti-Fascist and patriot killed at Dachau in 1944.
The deputy minister will also have meetings with various other Israeli dignitaries such as Minister for Strategic Affairs and Intelligence Yuval Steinit.
In Palestine, Pistelli will deliver a load of medicinal supplies for Gaza from AIFA to the WHO. He will meet with President Abbas, Prime Minister Hamdallah, Foreign Minister Malki, the new UNSCO Nickolay Mladenov and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal. Meetings are also scheduled with Italian NGO workers and the directors of the city’s hospitals, on behalf of which a contribution is to be announced.
Finally, in Lebanon the deputy minister will inaugurate several Development Cooperation projects run by Italian NGOs involving public works meant to provide large-scale employment. Afterwards, the Hon. Pistelli will visit the UNIFIL base where he will meet with General Portolano and the Italian staff of that contingent. In particular, the deputy minister will visit the Training Centre of the Lebanese Armed Forces financed and operated by Italy.
His political meetings in that country will include, among others, talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Speaker Nabih Berri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Druse leader Walid Jumblatt and the Grand Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Abdel Latif Derian.