Italy’s FM in Middle East on Peace Mission
Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero headed to the Middle East on Tuesday for a two-day visit to the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, to meet with officials there on ways to end 11 months of “violence.”
The Italian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, cited by the official Kuwaiti news agency, KUNA, that Ruggiero would meet Tuesday night with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
On Wednesday, he is due to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has recently been to Italy to garner support for his policies of continued military occupation, assassinations, and attacks using hi-tech weapons such as F-16s.
The ministry added that Ruggiero's visit came within the framework of the European Union mission to settle the Middle East crisis and spur the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The report added that Italy wanted to host a meeting between Arafat and Peres to revive the truce brokered by the CIA this spring.
The meeting was arranged by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer during his last visit to the region last week, but the time and place have not been specified yet – Albawaba.com
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