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OSCE. Alfano-Lavrov talks: “Work together to re-establish a climate of confidence and cooperation among the Organisation’s members”

“The crisis in Ukraine, frozen conflicts, the migration crisis and a greater attention on the challenges from the South and the Mediterranean will be the main focus of our Presidency of the OSCE. Moreover, we will continue our effort to re-establish a climate of confidence and cooperation among the Organisation’s members,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, when illustrating Italy’s priorities as Chair of the OSCE in 2018 to his Russian counterpart Sergej Lavrov, at a meeting on the sidelines of the informal ministerial meeting in Mauerbach, Austria.

Alfano and Lavrov also discussed the major international crises, starting with the conflict in Ukraine, in respect of which Mr Alfano expressed deep concern for the persisting tension in the Donbass and the negative fallout on a negotiation that is already complex, and above all on the civilian populations.  

In respect to Syria, the minister showed “appreciation for Russia’s efforts to make headway towards the effective implementation of the Astana Agreements which, up to now, have had the merit of reducing violence in Syria.” At the same time, however, Mr Alfano expressed “concern for the failed attempt to reach an agreement on the implementation of the de-escalation zones at the last Astana meeting”. 

Speaking more in general, Mr Alfano said: “Italy welcomes the coming into force of the agreement between United States, Russia and Jordan for a permanent ceasefire in South-West Syria. It is an important step towards the sustainable and enduring stabilisation of the area and towards facilitating humanitarian access in the interest of the Syrian population and of the neighbouring Countries.” 

In respect to Libya, Mr Alfano asserted: “During the past few months, the political process has shown new vitality, also thanks to the meeting between Aghila Saleh and Sweili in Rome. However, the recent episodes of violence in the South of the Country show how rough the road to the Country’s stabilisation actually is. It is therefore essential to consolidate a complete ceasefire between all the parties; there is no military solution to the Libyan dossier and we must continue to insist on this point”. 

Lastly, the two ministers expressed their mutual appreciation for the intensity and quality of bilateral dialogue and made a date to meet again in September in New York, at the United Nations General Assembly.