Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni met today with his Palestinian colleague Riad Al Malki, to whom he reiterated his condemnation of the appalling attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem, and expressed his hope that both parties to the conflict will make every possible effort to de-escalate the situation and put an end to all forms of incitement to violence. Gentiloni appreciated the firm condemnation of this attack issued by both President Abbas and Minister Al Malki himself.
In his appeal to Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they strive to prevent the situation from deteriorating further, Gentiloni confirmed Italy’s traditional critical stance, in line with the European Union, regarding any attempt to obstruct the resumption of peace talks and jeopardise the two-State solution. He also underscored the Italian government’s opposition to any modification of the status quo in Jerusalem’s holy places and to new settlements.
The Minister informed Minister Al Malki that Italy would consider the question of Palestine’s recognition with the maximum attention at the moment most opportune and useful to the relaunch of that negotiation. Italy’s priority remains the parties’ resumption of talks.
Bilateral relations were also discussed during the meeting, and the value of Italy’s deep commitment to the reconstruction of Gaza and to projects in the West Bank was underscored.
Finally, Minister Al Malki invited Minister Gentiloni to make a visit to Palestine in the coming weeks.