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Italy’s Foreign Minister: Rome-Moscow relations to develop regardless of current governments

August 05, 2013, 11:59 UTC+3

"Our countries have a great potential for development of bilateral relations," Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said in an exlusive interview to Itar-Tass

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ROME, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - The strategic dialogue between Rome and Moscow will develop regardless of governments, which are at power in Italy and Russia, Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told Itar-Tass in an exclusive interview on Monday on the eve of a meeting between foreign and defense ministers of the two countries in the two-plus-two format.

“I visited Moscow on June 15, where I confirmed the intention to continue and develop the strategic dialogue between Rome and Moscow regardless of the governments, which would be at power. Our countries have a great potential for development of bilateral relations - for creating real economy’s growth conditions, which is of great importance to Italy, for supporting the efforts in modernization, which Moscow should continue,” Bonino said.

The foreign minister said that at the upcoming meeting with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu they will discuss “topics of international security and the crises of mutual threat.”

“The current international situation features a big number of crises, where Russia and Italy may cooperate fruitfully in their overcoming. For example, of the fields for common action is the search of ways to stop the civil war in Syria. No doubt, we and our Russian partners have one objective - to achieve organization of Geneva-2 and to put to the negotiation table representatives of all the sides, who are able to put an end to the war and violence,” Bonino said.

As for relations between Russia and NATO, Bonino stressed they should become “a truly strategic engine in the territory of continental Europe and in Central Asia.”

“We should be ready to move from strategic parity to a common strategy and to overcome outdated stereotypes.”

The foreign minister reiterated once again Italy’s support of the dialogue on liberalization of the visa regime for Russian citizens and said that before the Tourism Cross-Year, due to begin in September, her authority had been looking into a special visa regime to help Russians with their trips.

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