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Governo Italiano

Minister Gentiloni,"Arbitration on marines dispute will prove us right"

Date:

05/03/2016


Minister Gentiloni,

Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the Arbitration Court of The Hague has ruled that Salvatore Girone can return to Italy. Many people, rightly, rejoice but will you be ready to return Latorre and Girone to India if The Hague  rules that they must be tried by an Indian court?
"The arbitration will prove us right. We have been committed, with the approval of our Parliament, to assign the dispute to the international court and will respect its rulings. In the meantime, now that the ruling has been publicly disclosed, our preliminary request has been accepted - Girone will be in Italy throughout the  arbitration process. Italian and Indian diplomats are working together to agree on the terms of the marine's return and are expecting validation from the Supreme Court. We will then pursue our claims during the arbitration on the substance. Being good claims, I am confident that they will be acknowledged."
Have you received support from the EU during the dispute?
"There has been solidarity from Europe, nd great determination and professionalism from the Farnesina, from the legal team and from the whole cabinet."
Migration is Europe's most crucial issue. You said that Italy will not accept Austria's wall at the Brenner, are you sure Vienna will not build the wall?
"Besides being unacceptable it would be incomprehensible. If Europe behaves as riotous condominium members, we should not be surprised if there are anti-European feelings. I prefer to think that building a wall at the Brenner is linked to domestic election processes. The Brenner is one of Europe's most important borders. It took decades to have normal relations between two peoples and transform a place of tensions into a place for a common prosperity. The elimination of that border was a symbol of our progress. Building a barrier would represent the symbol of Europe's failure. But I am confident we will not get to this."
Have you tried, with the [migration] "compact", to make proposals to solve the problem of the rising migrant flows? How far have you got?  
"Europe is expressing a  consent. For example, I met a few days ago the Foreign Minister of Finland, who is the leader of the right-wing True Finns Party. He confirmed that he, too, is concerned about providing resources to the African countries where the migrants come from. The EU has allocated 3 billion euros (6 billion euros on a long term) for the migration emergency in Turkey. Now we expect a significant effort from the 'migration compact'. It is not enough to receive political acknowledgements." 
Libya is the major migration channel from Africa into Italy, how do you consider the situation under Serraj's government?
"One month has elapsed since the presidential council of Fayez Serraj arrived, adventurously, in Tripoli. They started working amid many difficulties. The government has taken over eight ministries, and the city is apparently calm. The Libyan government announced that they will coordinate their actions across the country against the Islamic State, and has already achieved good results, with the UN blocking the ship which was trying to export oil from the eastern part of the country, evading Tripoli's legal control."
You were the first Foreign Minister to visit Serraj, and Libyan ministers have also come to Rome. What plans do you have together?
"We have paved a way on which we wish to walk together with Libyan partners. Today, another Italian ship will arrive in Tripoli, carrying humanitarian aid requested by Serraj's government, to be distributed to Benghasi hospitals.This is a narrow and uphill path, full of hazards, but we will carry on with two guidelines: first, Libya must remain united, and centrifugal pressures of any kind must be curbed. Secondly, we aim at gradually stabilising the region, progressively solving the legal control issues, in order to fight effectively terrorism and illegal trafficking."
With regard to Egypt, Hollande's France and even Merkel's Germany salute General Al Sisicome as a respectable political leader, worthy of honours. Will Italy give up demanding from the General from Cairo the truth about Regeni's case?
"Nobody is so naive not to see that against the scaling down of relations between Italy and Egypt there is a risk of having other countries interfere with their interests. We are concerned about Egypt's stability, and our pursuit to find the truth about Regeni's death is a priority for us, and it cannot be ruled out by interests or geopolitical concerns."
Sooner or later, we will have to give up? Or pretend nothing happened?
"Our demand for truth has no deadline, nor will it be marginalised and forgotten in a few weeks time. Facing the lack of cooperation, we decided to recall our ambassador in Cairo for consultations, which in diplomacy is a clear sign."


Location:

Roma

Periodical:

La Repubblica

Author:

Vincenzo Nigro

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