Foreign Minister Franco Frattini had a series of bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of Tunisia, Brazil, Argentina, Belarus and Panama and with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amre Moussa, in the margins of the 65th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
With his Tunisian counterpart, Kamel Morijane, Minister Frattini discussed bilateral relations and, more specifically, closer collaboration on migration and economic issues. The plan is for the bilateral Mixed Commission to meet before the end of the year; 21 October 2010 was confirmed as the date for the next Italian-Tunisian bilateral. Regional issues were also discussed, most notably the 5+5 exercise, where Italy’s commitment to hold a ministerial in Italy in spring 2011 was confirmed.
The meeting with the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Amorim, was an opportunity to confirm the excellent state of bilateral relations, as witnessed by the success of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s recent visit to Brazil. Minister Frattini invited Brazil to take part, as guest of honour, in the 5th Latin American Conference being held in Italy in 2011. The two foreign ministers also discussed key global governance issues, especially as regards climate change.
Revitalising bilateral relations was the focus of Minister Frattini’s talk with his Argentine colleague, Timerman. The two ministers agreed to convene the bilateral economic commission again in March 2011 and to broaden its scope to include political and cultural cooperation. Other issues discussed were regional stability in Latin America and the European Union’s relations with countries there.
With the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Martynov, Frattini confirmed Italy’s determination to help bring Belarus gradually closer to Europe. This would be done through positive and respectful bilateral cooperation in the humanitarian and economic fields and in the education sector, where a cooperation agreement between Italy and Belarus is being drawn up. Minister Martynov up-dated Minister Frattini on preparation for the general election taking place in Belarus in December 2010. He confirmed his government’s intention to open up the monitoring process to international observers.
The excellent state of bilateral relations following Minister Frattini and Prime Minister Berlusconi’s recent visits to Panama were reiterated during the Frattini–Varela meeting. The two ministers discussed the various areas involved in bilateral economic cooperation and, in the European context, the outlook for concluding a bilateral double taxation agreement. They also discussed stability in Central America, including the fight against crime, to which Italy devotes special attention.
The meeting with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amre Moussa, confirmed the convergence of views between Italy and the League on the need to keep the Peace Process going through responsible, moderate behaviour by both sides in the negotiations. Frattini reiterated Italy and Europe’s strong commitment to support the current negotiations in every way possible.