ROME, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An AJC leadership delegation just concluded a two-day visit to Rome. The trip was highlighted by a meeting with Angelino Alfano, Foreign Minister of Italy.
AJC CEO David Harris, who led the group, was also invited to testify before the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commissions of both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, where he addressed the transatlantic relationship and the prospects for Arab-Israeli peacemaking in the new political era. The briefing was chaired by MP Fabrizio Cicchitto, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.
Moreover, the group met privately with MP Rocco Buttiglione, former Minister of European Affairs; Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Filippo Bubbico, Deputy Minister of the Interior; and Ofer Sachs, Israeli Ambassador to Italy.
During the visit, Francesco Talo, the current Italian Ambassador to Israel, hosted a private lunch in Rome for the delegation, attended by high-level officials, parliamentarians, think-tank directors, Jewish community leaders, and other influential figures.
"In all of our meetings, we voiced deep appreciation for the close and valuable partnership between Italy and the U.S., mindful of the many ways in which the countries cooperate around the world, including, significantly, in the security realm," said Harris.
"Additionally, as friends of Israel, we applauded the robust Italian-Israeli bilateral relationship, the frequent visits of officials back and forth between the two countries, the cooperation on security issues and on research and development, and the partnership in so many other areas," he added.
"In our meeting with Foreign Minister Alfano, we focused particularly on the struggle against anti-Semitism and shared ideas for how best to address the challenges. To his credit, the Minister has repeatedly demonstrated his determination to fight this age-old hatred. Further, we raised our concern about the upcoming UNESCO resolution regarding Jerusalem, urging Italy to act on its earlier pledge that 'we cannot continue with these motions aimed at attacking Israel,' and that if Italy must 'break out of European unity because of this, so be it,'" he said.
At the conclusion of the mission, Harris was invited by Franco Frattini, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, to deliver an address at the Italian Diplomatic Academy, which he heads. Before a capacity crowd of faculty, students, diplomats, and members of civil society, Harris was asked to share his insights on American foreign policy in the Trump era and its impact specifically on transatlantic relations, Europe, and the Middle East.
AJC has long maintained an office in Rome, which is directed by Lisa Palmieri-Billig, who participated in all of the group's meetings.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee