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MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) - The joint meeting of the foreign ministers and defense ministers of Russia and Italy held in Rome on Tuesday confirmed “the strategic character of interaction of the two countries and the joint striving for further development of cooperation in the political, economic, military and military-technical relations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated. Taking part in the meeting from the Russian side were Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, from the Italian side Emma Bonino and Mario Mauro.
The talks passed “in the trustful and constructive atmosphere traditional for the Russian-Italian dialogue,” the ministry noted. It was the third meeting in the two-plus-two format. The arrangement on establishing this format was reached at the sixth round of the interstate consultations at the summit level in Rome on December 3, 2009,” the ministry recalled.
During the meeting the parties “exchanged opinions on an extensive agenda, including problems of the development of the political dialogue and military cooperation in the framework of the Russia-NATO Council and matters of disarmament and nonproliferation,” the ministry said. “Problems of anti-missile defense were discussed.”
“Special attention was given to the situation in Syria, in north Africa, to the Middle East settlement and the situation in Afghanistan and the prospects of its development past 2014,” the ministry stressed. “It has been agreed to maintain a close dialogue between the two countries towards the solution of these problems.”
Lavrov and Bonino had a conversation on the same day, discussing “some topical questions of Russian-Italian bilateral ties, including the schedule of upcoming summit and high-level contacts,” the ministry stated.
“Among international topics, special attention was given to prospects for the development of Russia-European Union relations in light of Italy’s presidency in the Council of the EU in the second half of 2014, to the reform of the UN Security Council, Iran’s nuclear program, as well as interaction in the framework of the Group of Twenty and the Group of Eight in the context of Russia’s presidency in these formats in 2013 and 2014, respectively,” the ministry stressed. “It was decided to establish a structured Russian-Italian mechanism for consultations aimed at specific results in the development of the entire complex of Russia’s relations with the European Union,” the ministry noted.