Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who is visiting Israel, will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in Jerusalem. This was learned from official sources.
Tajani has already met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog this morning. During the meeting, which lasted about half an hour, the war in Gaza and the resulting international situation were discussed (LIVE). Tajani also met with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz. Afterward, Katz met the families of some of the Israeli hostages in Gaza.
“Support Israel but need a two-state solution”
“We strongly support the actions of the Israeli government against terrorist organizations and at the same time we want to address with our Israeli friends the preparation for a return to political and diplomatic confrontation”, Tajani said while meeting Herzog. “After the military operations in Gaza – he added – it will be necessary to immediately identify a political path to prevent the current clashes” from repeating and spreading in the region. We need to start “a political path that will inevitably lead” to the formula of the Two-State Solution. During the meeting Tajani expressed “once again his indignation at the Hamas attack on 7 October on the Israeli civilian population around Gaza” and confirmed the Italian government’s request to the Israeli government “to protect in every way the lives of Palestinian civilians during military operations”. Among the topics discussed with the Israeli head of state, Minister Tajani evoked “the need to protect Christians, both the few remaining in Gaza and the Christian Arab citizens present in the West Bank”.
“In South Lebanon it is important to maintain a safe distance between the Israeli army and the Hezbollah military formations”, he underlined, announcing that he will talk about these issues and the “requests received from the Lebanese government” during his visit to the country yesterday with the Israeli leadership today in Jerusalem. “The negotiations – he added – must proceed despite this phase of war in Gaza, we want to send a message to all the parties involved in this scenario: there is no alternative to a path of peace, which must be started immediately”.
The objectives of the mission
Avoid widening the conflict, encourage de-escalation, forcefully reiterate the two-state solution as the only viable one, and between Israel and Lebanon, promote the widening of the Blue Line, to push Hezbollah militiamen further north and reduce tensions. These are the objectives of the dialogue undertaken in the region. “We support with great commitment the proposal” of the United States “to widen the distance between Hezbollah and Israel” by extending the Blue Line by about 7-8 kilometers, Tajani said yesterday speaking from Beirut, the first stop on the tour in the region. “One of the objectives of my mission is to promote de-escalation, we must do this by talking with Israel, with the Palestinians and with the Lebanese authorities. We are trying to reach a land agreement as was the agreement” between Lebanon and Israel on maritime borders, he explained. While for Gaza, the head of the Farnesina reiterated, Italy is “possibly available, if there were to be a UN presence in the Strip after the conflict, to send with Arab command – the most correct – women and men wearing the uniform of the our country”.
Tajani’s trip will continue with stops in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. “The objective is to end the war in Gaza and then give life to a stable reality: two peoples, two states”, explained the head of the Farnesina who will also be guest of honor at the annual ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Shoah memorial, on the occasion of Remembrance Day. To testify “Italy’s commitment against any racist and anti-Semitic resurgence in the world”.