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Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, is in Tehran to attend the International Book Festival, where Italy is the guest of honour

The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, is on mission in Iran. Today, he is in Tehran to attend the International Book Festival, where Italy is the guest of honour and the first Western Country to be conferred this role.

After participating in the Festival’s opening ceremony and having visited the Italian Pavilion, Mr Amendola had bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Bahram Qassemi; the Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe and American Affairs, Takht Ravanchi; the Advisor on International Affairs to the Supreme Leader, Ali Akbar Velayati.

The talks focused on the regional conflicts, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and on the updates on the situation in Libya. Referring to these crises, Mr Amendola reaffirmed the importance of indicating a political exit strategy, the only option capable of guaranteeing the effective stabilisation of the region.

In respect of Syria, Undersecretary Amendola – in underscoring the importance of the Astana trilateral talks – recalled the need to merge them into the Geneva Process and with the work that is being performed by the United Nations and its Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Relatively to the crisis in Yemen, the representative of the Italian Government called for the logic of dialogue to prevail also in this case, through a joint effort by the major regional players and the role played by the United Nations.

Undersecretary Amendola also dwelt on the importance of normalising relations between Tehran and the member Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This process kicked off last January with the visit to Iran by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah, and the subsequent visit to Kuwait by President Rohani. 

Special attention was placed in recalling how the Gulf Countries must play a key role in pursuing stability in the area and in defining a new – and more inclusive – “architecture of security” for the region.

Mr Amendola also discussed bilateral relations with his interlocutors, mainly in the field of culture, science and business. In this respect, special attention was focused on economic and commercial relations, an area in which Italy is traditionally a key partner of Iran.

Undersecretary Amendola also confirmed his firm interest in finalising the numerous agreements promoted during the past few months following the meeting between former Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, and President Rohani. Mr Amendola reaffirmed that Italian companies are ready to start investing in Iran again.

The mission will close tomorrow with Undersecretary Amendola’s address at a conference on intercultural dialogue organised by Italy’s Enciclopedia Treccani.