On 19 October Il Piccolo published hearsay according to which Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Roberto Antonione, upon the bidding of Premier Berlusconi, had been the organiser of an extensive project of cooperation between Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Libya.
I would like to state on this matter that Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Roberto Antonione has at no time had a mandate from Premier Berlusconi or others to be involved with neither Libya nor the specific initiatives of cooperation between that country and the Italian Regions. Libya is not part of the geographic region (Europe) subject to the Under-Secretary functions delegated to Senator Antonione.
The information provided by the article in Il Piccolo, with regard to the alleged commitment of the Under-Secretary in questions of cooperation with Libya, is therefore totally groundless.
Michele ValensiseHead of the Press OfficeMinistry of Foreign Affairs