Israel’s reaction in Gaza must be proportionate says Tajani

Israel’s response to the October 7 Hamas attacks must be proportionate and spare the civilian population in Gaza, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told the 16th Conference of Italian Ambassadors in the World at the foreign ministry in Rome on Monday.

Italy has “strongly condemned the Hamas attack against unarmed victims that recalled the Nazi brutality of the Holocaust,” said Tajani opening the conference alongside President Sergio Mattarella.

However, “we also want Israel’s reaction to be proportionate, to spare the civilian population” in Gaza, he added.

“I hope that the United Nations might today approve a document promoted by the Americans and the Emirates calling for a ceasefire to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid” into the Palestinian enclave, said Tajani.

“If there is such an initiative, Italy will certainly support it.” The country’s chief diplomat reiterated the two “polar stars” of Italy’s foreign policy: “Europe and transatlantic relations, a consolidated relationship with the United States, to which we will always be grateful” for preventing Italy and Europe from falling “prey to two horrible dictatorships, Nazi Fascism and Communism”.

“Italy wants to be a bearer of peace throughout the world,” he continued.

“We are in Ukraine, where we participate in every way in helping this friendly people and we are also protagonists in reconstruction,” added Tajani.

On migration, the foreign minister said the “emergency” cannot be solved “with police operations alone”, “Short, medium and long-term strategic action is needed that can solve it at the root.

Italy must be part of a great European project,” he continued, evoking the government’s as yet unveiled Mattei plan for closer cooperation with African countries of origin.

Tajani said foreign policy needed to be a tool for Italy’s economic growth.

“We are working to promote exports and we want to launch a major offensive to occupy spaces that are now in the hands of Italian sounding products with real Italian products,” he said.

“Growth diplomacy will be among the qualifying points” of Italy’s foreign policy, which will alsoprovide be “support for the internationalisation of SMEs”, contiued Tajani.

“They will always know that behind them there is a government that will accompany them in their search for new markets,” he added.

In this respect, Tajani announced that on Monday morning the Senate approved a government amendment to the 2024 budget law that “strengthens the operations of our offices abroad, the diplomatic, consular and (Italian Trade and Investment Agency) ICE network” by “helping ICE contract officials and contract officials at our diplomatic representations” in order to “reinforce our action and provide even more services to citizens and businesses”.