President Dr Drnovšek receives Massimo D'Alema, the Italian Foreign Minister
Ljubljana, 01/10/2007 | press release
The President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today received Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Massimo D’Alema.
The two statesmen agreed that Mr D'Alema's visit was an important one, as it brings to an end a period of several years without high level contacts being realised, as well as promising fruitful cooperation between the neighbouring countries with regard to bilateral interests and opportunities, as well as the resolution of wider international issues.
As Italy’s Foreign Minister, Mr D’Alema stated that the Italian government intended to implement the provisions of the act protecting the Slovenian minority. The act, which has yet to be applied in practice, was the result of efforts made by the previous centre-left Italian government. Mr D’Alema expressed his expectation that Slovenia would be committed to resolving the issues faced by the Italian minority in Slovenia.
President Drnovšek expressed the opinion that the two neighbours should reach a joint decision on the construction of gas terminals in the northern Adriatic Sea which respect ecological and other standards and interests. There was also, he felt, the question of whether there was a genuine need for terminals at all in this area.
As President Drnovšek and Mr D’Alema emphasised, Slovenia and Italy are both interested in the continuing process to ratify the European Constitution and the search for solutions to this issue that will enable the further deepening of European integration, as well as continuing the enlargement of the Union. Both statesmen stressed the need to integrate the Western Balkans into the European Union.
President Drnovšek lent his support to the Italian government’s calls for a global moratorium on the death penalty in those countries in the world that now enforce it.
Mr D’Alema brought word from the President of the Italian Republic, Georgio Napolitano, of his interest in a meeting between the presidents of the neighbouring countries that would symbolically overcome the historical differences between the two nations.
President Drnovšek underlined his support for the idea, and noted that careful preparations would be needed for such an event to ensure that no additional antagonisms or confrontations result.
President Drnovšek and Mr D’Alema also discussed Middle East issues and agreed that the EU must play a more active role in overcoming the Middle East crisis and preventing the conflict from spreading.