Italy willing to contribute to potential Gaza peacekeeping force, says Tajani

(17 Apr 2024)

Capri, Italy – 17 April 2024
1. Delegation in port waiting for Italian Foreign Minister Tajani
2. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani arriving on military ship
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Tajani, Italian Foreign Minister:
"If there is this solution (the two-state solution) and for a short time we need the presence of the United Nations under Arab control, we are ready for sending Italian soldiers among, more or less (like) UNIFIL (UN peace-keepers in southern Lebanon) organization. We are ready if we need to work for the stability, for a new schism with two people, two states. But for the Palestine, it’s important to recognize Israel, for Israel to recognize Palestine. Any unilateral decision for me is a mistake."
4. Tajani giving interview on board to AP
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Tajani, Italian Foreign Minister:
"Italy is in favor of a one China policy, but we want to back the status quo. This is very, very, very important for us. The Italian Navy will be present in the Indo-Pacific region. The message is very clear. Freedom of trade, and peace also in this region. We want to talk with the Philippines, New Zealand, with South Korea. North Korea is very dangerous for everybody, also for peace. But I think…China, Italy decided to leave the Road and Belt (meaning Belt and Road) Initiative. It’s a political choice. Because the Road and Belt initiative is negative for our trade, also. We are talking, we have good relations with China as with the Americans and also other countries, is our counterpart in that. We want to also in this region, we want to work for peace, for the stability and the status quo is the best solution for everybody."
6. Tajani getting off ship
7. Tajani greeting delegation
8. Tajani and delegation leaving in convoy
9. Wide of Capri
Italy’s foreign minister said Wednesday Rome would be willing to contribute troops to any possible U.N. peacekeeping force for Gaza, even though no such proposal is currently on the table and the idea itself has been rejected by Israel.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Antonio Tajani suggested a U.N. force under Arab command could help provide security if Israel and the Palestinians make headway on an eventual two-state solution.

He said the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, could be the model.

"If there is the (two state) solution and for a short time we need the presence of the United Nations under Arab control, we are ready for sending Italian soldiers,” Tajani said ahead of a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in Capri.

“We are ready, if we need to work for the stability and for a new schism with two people, two states."

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a foreign peacekeeping force in Gaza after the war, saying only Israel is capable of keeping the territory demilitarized.

On other foreign matters, Tajani also said he favoured a one-China policy, and that Italy wanted freedom of movement and trade in the Indo-Pacific.

AP video shot by Luigi Navarra
Production: Trisha Thomas


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