Luigi di Maio, the unsuccessful meeting with Sarraj and Haftar was a failure.
What went wrong?
«Italy’s commitment is total, these days I have been to Brussels, Istanbul, Cairo and I have just come back from Alger. From Iran to Libya, we are facing difficult situations, caution is necessary, we need to act responsibly. The words used to address Mr Conte are totally unfounded and unnecessary, because our president is working hard. It is also worth of notice that he was the author of the Conference in Palermo».
The Head of the Russian contact group on Libya's said that “Italy was not able to properly organize the meeting”. Did the Ministry of Foreign Affair organize or coordinate the meeting?
«The President has his own programs but he works together with the government, especially when he meets the Prime Minister of another country».
Why did the government decide to meet them on the same day and see first Haftar, accused of being responsible for the death of the cadets? Who chose that? Di Maio or Conte?
«You will not succeed in stopping our cooperation, that is not how it went. Conte and I works together constantly. I have spoken many times also with Minister Guerrini. Today, I have met Conte and we worked on the dossier. We are also deeply worried about the situation in Iran».
Is it true that Conte wants to, firstly, maintain relations with Sarraj, while you are more concerned about Turkey and Russia, who opposed the meeting with Sarraj?
«The government works in harmony. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs I must keep good relations with everyone. I am currently working with my German colleague Maas, in order to organize the Berlin Conference. We believe it is necessary have all the stakeholders engaged. We are undergoing a sort of “proxy war” and engaging everyone concerned is essential to prevent third parties interferences».
They say that Macron stopped Sarraj.
«I am not here to answer to speculative journalism. I think that EU needs to speak with one voice. I ask our partners to act responsibly. Leaks only worsen the situation».
Diplomats described the meeting as a “huge mistake”: did not we lose credibility as mediators?
«Our Diplomatic Corps is loyal and fair, always. We do not take into account what is behind the scenes, reality is something else».
Why did you not sign the declaration of the summit held at Cairo concerning Libya? Egypt, France, Greece and Cyprus signed it.
«Receiving the invitation to participate representing Italy confirms our role. The final declaration was too unfavourable towards Sarraj and Turkey, which is still our allay. I invite everyone to be balanced, especially EU partners. Italy is strong and taken into account. But we had to work hard to regain our status, since no longer ago Italy contributed to attack Libya. However, I know that we will be considered responsible for that as well.
According to Timmermans, Mr Minniti would work perfectly in Libya. Do you think he would be the right man as EU Special Envoy in Libya?
«When the time comes, we will announce the name of the Special Envoy appointed. Now, we need to conclude first the Berlin Conference. After that, I believe it is necessary to appoint someone to protect the interests of our country».
As a Minister of Foreign affairs you are facing a severe crisis and you work extensively abroad. How could you also lead the Movement? Don’t you think it would be better to work full time at the Minister?
«Today, (yesterday, ed) I will attend a joint assembly, as political leader. The international situation is complex but we are working on it. The Movement is about to conclude its reorganization, started last year and on 20 January we will vote for the election of the new regional facilitators».
A group of senators presented a document asking for the end of the dual roles in politics, including yours.
«Three people signed that document. It is valid, of course, but three people are not enough. Later on, States General will be able to receive other proposals».
It seems that Minister De Micheli is willing to avoid the concession withdrawal towards Autostrade, provided that the claim is higher and the toll reduced. Do you agree with that?
«I am not here to comment on impressions. Minister De Micheli is working properly. I can only say that appraisals are showing a lack of maintenance on the part of Autostrade and a lot of families are still mourning their dead. We need to revise concessions. The withdrawal is part of this plan, it is necessary to lower the cost of tolls.
The movement is facing many defections and you stated that they do not want to return money. Do you believe “greed” is the only reason? Is there anything wrong you also did?
«To err is human, but why did the people who resign did not resign also from their role as members of Parliament?».
Development of a new reporting method is currently underway, with the introduction of a fixed part. However, Casaleggio opposed that. How will the system change?
«The guarantee committee is currently studying a new procedure to revise the method of return. The proposal aims at simplifying the data loading procedure at tirendiconto.it. Moreover, there may also be the possibility to return money on a flat-rate basis».
Today we are celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Craxi’s death. If you had been adult and present at the Raphael Hotel that day, would you have protested against him as people did? Despite his errors, can we say that Craxi was a statesman or does he deserve to be forgotten?
«No-one deserves to be forgotten».