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Statements of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, following his meeting with the Italian State Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office for European Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola (Rome, 15 April 2021)
“We share with Italy common positions on the entire European agenda”, stressed Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, following his meeting in Rome with his counterpart, State Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office for European Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, which was held at the Prime Ministerial Mansion (Palazzo Chigi).
The focus of the expanded talks was the response to the pandemic, the vaccination progress, the Digital Green Certificate, the recovery package, the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Social Agenda, Migration, the Libyan issue, EU-Turkey relations, energy issues, the East Med pipeline, security issues in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Cyprus issue, and coordination within the framework of the EU General Affairs Council.
“Our cooperation with Italy is multifaceted, continuous and broad”, noted Mr Varvitsiotis, while on his two-day visit to the Italian capital.
During their joint statements, the Alternate Minister, responding to a question on the Libyan issue, stressed that they discussed matters regarding the region’s security and the process that has begun for its reconstruction and stabilisation.
“Both our countries have a great interest in having a secure environment in the Mediterranean, in international law being observed, in achieving international cooperation and in Europe’s involvement to contribute and add to these goals. As regards Libya, following the meeting of the two Prime Ministers in Tripoli, I think it is important that we continued the discussion that was started, and which, I believe, will lead us to further cooperation”. He also noted that during recent contacts between Libya and Greece, it was decided to resume negotiations on the demarcation of maritime zones, which is an important outcome.
As regards Turkey and on the occasion of the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to Ankara, he underlined that we must give dialogue a chance, and that dialogue cannot be held under the pressure of military vessels operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, but rather in good faith, with respect for international law and avoiding unilateral provocations. “We want the problems to be solved at the negotiation table”, he stressed.
Furthermore, as regards the East Med pipeline, he pointed out that it is a new solution to Europe’s energy problem, and that it is important for Italy to participate in the pipeline, so that its prospects increase.
Lastly, he raised the issue of bilateral cooperation on the issues of migration and tourism.