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Minister Tajani meets France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Capri

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, today met with France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Capri. Among the topics discussed were the crisis in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, the development of Africa and common European defence.

Addressing the risk of an escalation in the Middle East region, Tajani expressed the hope that Iran’s act of aggression – strongly condemned by the Italian G7 Presidency – would not be followed by retaliation or reprisals, as any such action would risk triggering a regional conflict. “We are working to promote peace and advance the ‘two peoples, two states’ solution. Italy is ready to play its part just as it is doing in Lebanon, where the UNIFIL mission has been deployed on the border with Israel,” added the Deputy Prime Minister.

During the talks, the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, essential for the delivery of aid to the Strip, was reiterated. Since the beginning of the conflict, Italy has been at the forefront in facilitating access to food aid, alleviating the suffering of the population and guaranteeing food security in Gaza, as demonstrated by the “Food for Gaza” initiative led by the Italian Foreign Ministry together with FAO, WFP, FICROSS and the Italian Civil Protection Department (Protezione Civile).

The two Ministers then talked about Ukraine. Tajani reiterated the Italian Government’s strong support for Kiev and the importance of a cohesive approach at G7, EU and NATO level, something the Italian Presidency is constantly working on. “We need Russia to understand that the West’s support for Ukraine will not wane even in the long term and that a military solution to the dispute is not viable,” said the Deputy Prime Minister, pointing out that military aid is also essential to achieving a just peace and to the country’s reconstruction process.

“All the challenges posed by the current international context should be seen as opportunities to strengthen cooperation in the European area,” Tajani added, highlighting the importance of moving forward on common European defence, an instrument that would enable the EU to contribute to the stabilisation of a complex international scenario, in full coordination with NATO. The same could be said about migration, following the steps forward made with the adoption of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. “We must now work on foreign affairs, strengthening cooperation with the transit countries of sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Mediterranean at all levels, including the European level and with the G7 countries” said Tajani.

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