Only two weeks after taking office, the new Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, came to Berlin on Thursday (13 November). Foreign Minister Steinmeier met him for initial talks which focused on relations between Germany and Italy as well as international conflicts.
On this occasion, Foreign Minister Steinmeier stressed that Italy was a “close and key neighbour” to Germany. He warmly welcomed his colleague from Rome to the Federal Foreign Office. Paolo Gentiloni has been Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for two weeks, succeeding the EU’s new High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini. Steinmeier confirmed that he wished to continue the trusting working relationship with his new counterpart.
Taking the familiar cooperation forward
In this context, the German Foreign Minister praised the work done by the Italian EU Council Presidency. “Italy’s commitment to Europe has been truly evident these past weeks.” Steinmeier, who this week also met Gentiloni’s predecessor Mogherini in Berlin, stressed “the great reputation Italy’s diplomacy enjoys in Europe and beyond”.
Along with German-Italian relations and cooperation in Europe, the talks between the two foreign ministers focused on the situation in Ukraine, Libya and the Middle East. In this context, Steinmeier announced that he was going to travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories at the weekend.
United against anti-Semitism
After their talks, Steinmeier and Gentiloni took part in the event marking the 10th Anniversary of the OSCE’s Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism at the Federal Foreign Office. The German Foreign Minister stated.
There must be no room for anti-Semitism in our societies. We stand as one against all forms of xenophobia and hostility towards Jewish people. We want tolerance, dialogue and fairness!
Steinmeier opened the high-level event in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office together with Didier Burkhalter, current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and President of the Swiss Confederation, and Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).