Home » Tajani: “We will strengthen the G7” – International Affairs

Tajani: “We will strengthen the G7” – International Affairs

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Tajani: “We will strengthen the G7” – International Affairs

International Affairs participated on January 17, 2024 in the press conference of the Vice President of the Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Antonio Tajaniheld at the Farnesina and organized to present the priorities relating to the strands of G7 activities under the Ministry’s responsibility. We offer you some passages taken from his speeches.

The G7 under the Italian presidency

“As you know, from January 1st theItaly has the leadership of the G7, for the seventh time. We want to strengthen the role of this organization which is the coordination mechanism of the large liberal democracies with advanced economies, we want the G7 to be an instrument of stability to provide cohesive responses to the crisis we are experiencing. We have two wars and a crisis in the Red Sea. The objective of our presidency will be to strengthen this cohesion and collaboration.”

The Middle East

“The priority of our presidency in foreign policy will obviously be the situation in the Middle East and, as you know, we will work towards de-escalation. We work to ensure that the situation absolutely does not worsen, we are against escalation, therefore all our political-diplomatic initiatives go in this direction. We are moving with great balance. We are against terrorism. We have condemned with great firmness the inhuman attack by Hamas against the Israeli civilian population, we strongly ask for the release of the hostages, we welcome all the mediation initiatives, including the latest one which will also serve to bring medicines to the hostages. We, together with the others in the G7, have given a clear message to Israel of having proportionate military reactions and to spare the civilian population: there are too many innocent deaths. On the other hand, Hamas has a great responsibility to use the civilian population as a human shield: very often messages are sent to evacuate some parts where there will be Israeli military attacks and Hamas prevents the civilian population from abandoning them.

Therefore Israel must absolutely proportionate and reduce the attack against the civilian population who are not to blame. It is true that Hamas terrorists are Palestinians, but Palestinians are not all Hamas terrorists. This must be very clear. From the point of view of support for the civilian population, I reiterate what our commitments and our action are. Two military planes have arrived loaded with goods to take to the Gaza Strip. There is the Vulcano military hospital ship where Palestinian children are being treated. We are working with the Egyptian government to install a field hospital in Rafah, we don’t know whether it is beyond the door or on this side, however we are ready to do it, we are waiting for the authorizations, we are in negotiations and we are ready to make it happen. We will treat over one hundred Palestinian children in Italy with the coordination of our crisis unit. L’Italy is doing everything to help the Palestinian civilian population which, I repeat, has nothing to do with the criminal terrorists of Hamas. We we are two states for two peoplestherefore the state of Israel that recognizes the Palestinian state and the Palestinian state that recognizes Israel.

As for Israel, from day one I have advised myself on the reaction to what happened on October 7th. I was the first foreign minister to arrive in Israel after the Hamas attack. However, I want to reiterate – because it is not talked about enough, given that not everyone has seen the videos of what happened – that it was not a bombing, it was not an attack on a barracks, it was a real hunt for man, woman, child, with a violence never seen before. The desecration of the corpses, the physical violence from all points of view: something like this had never been seen from ancient times to the present day. Anyone who has had the opportunity to see some videos knows what happened: the hunting of the newborn, the violence against living and dead women. It is unacceptable and unheard of even during a war. These are also war crimes. I repeat, we are against carpet bombings which affect the civilian population and cause many deaths, but we must also denounce what has happened and what is talked about, in my opinion, too little. There the Jew was hunted house by house, targeting a three-month-old baby and the corpses: acts of cowardice.”

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The Red Sea

“As regards the situation in the Red Sea, we are working on a new one European mission alongsideOperation Atalanta which is in the Strait of Hormuz, to protect commercial traffic. The idea, the one with the easiest solution, is to expand this mission and make it reach the Red Sea competently defend maritime traffic throughout the area, given that today with Atlanta we defend maritime traffic especially in the southern Red Sea. We would like to get as far as Suez to guarantee traffic, ensuring the possibility of defending, with a European military presence, the European ships that transit through that part of the world. We have condemned the attacks by the Houthi rebels from the beginning to merchant ships.

We are faced with a economic problem not secondary: we are an exporting country – you know well that almost 40% of our GDP is exports – and therefore the reduction in maritime traffic through the Suez Canal worries us: we have gone from 400 ships a day to 250. They have increased and not insurance costs are reduced and travel times are lengthened. Going around Africa means wasting 15 days, it affects the competitiveness of our products, it also affects the competitiveness of our ports, I’m thinking of those of Gioia Tauro, Taranto, Brindisi, Trieste and Genoa. In January we joined the political declaration with the United States, then there was a declaration from the Presidency of the Council on support for the defense of trade in the Red Sea. We are not only operating militarily, but also diplomatically safeguard our export business”.

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European Army

“We we want a more political Europe. Foreign policy cannot be made if there is no European defense system. We do not want Europe to be an economic giant and a political dwarf. Italy must be a protagonist in a Europe that counts, which has an equal relationship with the United States even within NATO. We must therefore have a European defense system whatever it is competitive. A path has started, we need to accelerate, what has been done and is being done is not enough, but we must truly have, as the final objective, a European army. We are working on it, we need the necessary time, but if we want to have effective peace missions, if we want to intervene quickly and not always be forced to follow the initiatives of others, we must have a instrument Also in European peacekeeping, therefore it can be operational very quickly. This is what I believe in, I think it is right to proceed in this direction. Many taboos have been broken down in recent years, now we need to move forward.”

Ukraine

“We are convinced that if Ukraine were to lose from a military point of view, there would no longer be the possibility of achieving peace, it would be a defeat and not peace. We want peace to be achieved, but peace can only be achieved when there are two contenders confronting each other, there is no winner and loser. Who violated international law? Russia, and therefore international law must be respected, Ukraine must be put in a position to be able to make – when the time comes and I hope it arrives as soon as possible – a peace agreement that is a just peaceas we have always said, with Russia.

We want peace objectives to be achieved but, I repeat, peace it cannot mean the overturning of international law, the rule, “I am stronger, I decide and invade a country” cannot apply. This is also unacceptable from the point of view of international law. L’Ukraine is defending freedomits freedom, that of Europe, therefore we have the duty to support it, not only through military aid, but also with aid to the civilian population, especially during the winter”.

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Migrations

“I have always said the issue of migration even when I had other responsibilities, such as that of vice-president of the European Commission or president of the European Parliament, the migration issue must be resolved upstream. It cannot just be a problem of public order. It is, too, but above all it is a problem that must be addressed strategically. In 2050 we will have two and a half billion Africans. If we want, as Benedict XVI said, “to defend the right not to migrate”, we must contribute to the solution of the problems that cause migration. And these problems are: wars, famine, climate change, disease and poverty.

What can and should we do? Meanwhile, bringing the world‘s attention to the problem, so the G7 will be one of the occasions, we have also placed it on the occasions of the NATO summits. The Mattei Plan is a tool to try to give a decisive contribution, on the Italian side, to solving these problems with a non-neo-colonizing perspective, but one which you look at Africa with African lenses and not with Italian or European lenses. And the Mattei plan, which in my opinion should be part of that plan that I have always called for, a great European Marshall plan for the African continent, must be written together with the Africans, because otherwise it would not make sense. We must not give alms, we must have a political-economic strategy that must allow the African continent to be able to use all the resources it has for its economic growth. We can export our know-how, we are already working with many countries, I am thinking of Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya itself, with many African countries to try to solve the problem.

Then there are all the political and military problems affecting the security of sub-Saharan Africa. Then there is the Middle East with the many refugees from Syria, with the situation in Lebanon which risks getting worse every day, with the many refugees who could soon reach Europe via the Balkan route. In short, we need a strategy, investments, but above all a policy of peace”.

Marta Fornacini collaborated in drafting the article

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