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Alfano in Berlin and London: “European values are shield against terrorism”

BERLINO/LONDRA, 21 DECEMBER – “We must react in the name of our common European values. Values which make us stronger than anyone who wants to destroy us through fear. He, who fears, is not free. Fighting against terrorism is a fight in the name of freedom”, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano stated today in Berlin. Only 36 hours had passed since the devastating attack against a Christmas Market: twelve people died, scores were wounded. Still missing, and feared killed, is 31 years old Fabrizia Di Lorenzo: a young Italian woman living and working in Berlin, hoping one day for a job at the UN.

s300_foreign_minister_angelino_alfano_and_foreign_secretary_boris_johnsonInvestigators undertook a Europe-wide manhunt on Wednesday for a young Tunisian ex-convict with multiple aliases who had been denied asylum in Germany and was considered a security risk. “The events of these last few hours in Berlin, Turkey and Jordan, are more than enough to explain that security and peace remain the fundamental issues on which to continue working together independently from the aspects linked to Brexit,” Alfano had said a few hours before in London meeting UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. In the UK capital Alfano was received at Downing Street – uncustomary for a Foreign Minister – by Prime Minister Theresa May who, like him, was formerly Minister of the Interior. Together with Mr Johnson, Mr Alfano emphasised that “the United Kingdom exits the EU but not Europe”.

Referring to the negotiations between London and Brussels, Italy’s newly appointed foreign minister recalled that the negotiations will be conducted “in compliance with Art. 50” but also that Italy wishes the negotiations “to be friendly and in the light of day, respecting rules and treaties”. He went on to say that cooperating with Great Britain “for peace and security in Europe” is also key in the transition towards Brexit. He said: “We have a number of essential issues to deal with together: from international security, to cooperation on the migration issue in the Mediterranean, to interventions in Africa to stop human traffickers.”

Boris Johnson said that “it is testament to the great friendship between our two countries that Angelino made it a priority to visit the UK. The cooperation and kinship between the UK and Italy goes back many years and continues to go from strength to strength. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will not change this”. The meeting allowed to reaffirm a commitment to working closely together on a range of shared priorities such as ensuring stability in Libya, eliminating the threat from Daesh, and tackling the root causes of irregular migration.

“We both expressed concern over the humanitarian catastrophe developing in Aleppo. Minister Alfano and I agreed that the fall of Aleppo will not bring the civil war in Syria to an end. Only a negotiated political settlement will bring peace to the people of Syria”, said Johnson adding that he looks forward to working with Foreign Minister Alfano as Italy takes its seat on the UN Security Council and chairs the G7 in 2017. (@OnuItalia)

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