ROME (Jun. 19)
Italy, although it has never been asked to mediate in the Middle East, will support every initiative aimed at eliminating the tensions between Israel and the Arab states, Foreign Minister Gaetano Martino declared in Parliament today.
Closing a foreign policy debate in the Chamber of Deputies, Signor Martino asserted that Italy’s course of action on the Middle East is inspired by the determination to consolidate peace and stability in that area. He expressed satisfaction with the results of the Middle East mission of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.
“We shall support every initiative aimed at eliminating existing tensions, both in the United Nations and the bilateral relations of the countries concerned,” the Foreign Minister said. But, he added, no request for Italy’s mediation in the Israel-Arab conflict has ever been made.
At the same time, he stressed that the forthcoming visit by Egyptian Premier Gamal Abdel Nasser would strengthen traditional Italo-Egyptian friendship, and that the visit of Italian President Giovanni Gronchi to Lebanon this month would also strengthen friendship in that quarter.