The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, hosted the bilateral Italy - Holy See consultations at the Foreign Ministry, together with the Secretary for Relations with States, H.E. Mgr Paul Richard Gallagher. The meeting was an opportunity for a wide range of views on the main international political issues and major global issues, from the Libyan crisis to support for Lebanon, from the Middle East Peace Process to Africa, from the protection of religious minorities to the fight against COVID-19 and climate change.
The Minister explained to Mgr Gallagher Italy's action in favour of peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa. In particular, Italy is working in Libya for a lasting ceasefire, a full resumption of oil production and to promote an inclusive dialogue between the Libyan parties, with a view to a lasting stabilisation of the country. Mr Di Maio then stressed the strong friendship that unites Italy and Lebanon, reaffirmed our commitment to UNIFIL and ensured Italian support for the country even beyond the emergency phase. The Minister then confirmed that Italy has welcomed the normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, while noting that a real stabilisation of the region cannot be separated from a two-state solution directly negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians.
Turning to the African continent, the Minister went over the most important regional dossiers with Secretary Gallagher, including the stabilisation of the Sahel. With reference to Mali, the Minister reiterated the commitment to open an Italian Embassy in the country.
Mr Di Maio also highlighted Italy's traditional active position in the protection of human rights and the promotion of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue.
The situation in Venezuela was also discussed.
Finally, reaffirming Italy's commitment to effective multilateralism, Minister Di Maio explained to his interlocutor the international initiatives Italy is promoting, both at EU and multilateral level, to achieve the development and equitable distribution of an anti-Covid vaccine: the "Inclusive Vaccine Alliance", promoted by Italy, the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and the International Instrument of the GAVI Alliance, to guarantee access to the vaccine in over 90 developing and vulnerable countries. Finally, the Minister thanked Mgr Gallagher for the constructive role that the Holy See plays in calling for "ecological conversion" on a global scale. In view of the Italian presidency of the G20 and the co-presidency of the COP26 in 2021, the Minister confirmed Italy's full support to the fight against climate change, ensuring Italy's proactive commitment to respect and safeguard the environment on a global scale.