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Meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani with the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, met with French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna at the Farnesina, thanking her for visiting Rome.

The meeting, which was very cordial, followed the talks that had taken place in recent weeks – including the talks between Italian Prime Minister Meloni and French President Macron, held on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in Hiroshima on 20 May – which had paved the way for the rescheduling of the meeting between Foreign Affairs Ministers.

While thanking France on behalf of the Italian government for the concrete gesture of solidarity that President Macron had addressed to the Italian populations affected by the floods in the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions, Tajani wished to point out that “sometimes we may have had different positions, but it is important to have constructive exchanges in order to enhance the many common interests and develop indispensable joint action in the face of the main international challenges, starting with migration. Such dialogue must take place through the appropriate channels, such as those provided by the Quirinal Treaty.”

The two Ministers then reviewed the main dossiers of common interest, starting with the management of migratory flows. “Italy is the country most exposed to the growing migratory pressure in the Mediterranean,” recalled the Deputy Prime Minister, noting that “in the first months of 2023, this pressure increased by more than +160% compared to the same period in 2022”. It is now “imperative to develop a modern, efficient European migration and asylum system that fully integrates the demands of Italy and other Mediterranean frontline Member States through a better balance between solidarity and fair sharing of responsibilities.”

In informing Minister Colonna of the presentation in Parliament of a motion on the case of the Italian terrorists still in France, Tajani again pointed out how important this issue is for our country.

The two ministers also decided to launch the Cross-Border Cooperation Committee. At the Deputy Prime Minister’s request, they also discussed the prospects for modernising and relaunching the Mont Blanc tunnel, agreeing on the need to urge the technical bodies to examine the various options.

With regard to the international agenda, the two ministers focused in particular on Tunisia and Ukraine.

On Tunisia, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that Italy and France had a special responsibility in identifying concrete solutions to the current situation and recalled that Italy was in the front line in deploying a relentless diplomatic effort, recalling the contacts it had had in recent weeks with US Secretary of State Blinken, with International Monetary Fund Director Georgieva and with the Tunisian authorities.

Regarding Ukraine, Tajani noted that the start of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine is, in perspective, the goal to be pursued; however, at the moment, the conditions for doing so do not yet exist. While reiterating Italy’s full support for Kiev’s self-defence, he stressed the need for close coordination between Italy and France, both to support Ukraine and to facilitate the conditions necessary to start a negotiating table that takes into account Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and geographical integrity.


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