UAE: Group of Italian-Emirati MPs discusses politics,culture

Middle East situation, ''Italy House'' in Abu Dhabi

31 May, 20:01

(ANSAmed) - ABU DHABI, MAY 31 - The meetings in Abu Dhabi between an Italian delegation of the Italian-Emirati Collaboration Group, their Emirati counterparts and the ministers of foreign affairs and universities and scientific research, sheikhs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahayan, focused on the political situation in the middle East and on increasing cultural cooperation between the two countries. ''The Italian view on Syria and the need to make a joint effort to resolve the unsustainable situation in the country is more or less the same as the view of the United Arab Emirates,'' Federica Mongherini Rebesani (Pd) told ANSA. Mongherini Rebesani, member of the Defence Commission, explained that ''the joint effort is putting more pressure on Russia." The question of what would happen after the possible exit of the current Syrian regime was also discussed during the meeting with the foreign minister, which lasted longer than the scheduled one and a half hour. The Syrian opposition is at the moment too fragmented to form a real alternative.

Other issues that were discussed include Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the existing ''concerns'' over Iran's nuclear ambitions, with Iran as close trade partner of the UAE. ''A military solution is not the solution,'' said Rebesani, ''but working from inside the Iranian society could work, as well as giving the IAEA more power to carry out inspections in the country,'' the two parties agreed. The talks also focused on the prospect of reconstruction in Libya - where both Italy and the UAE took part in the military intervention - with the possibility of developing projects together, delegation coordinator Gianfranco Conte (Pdl), chairman of the finance commission, underlined.

Regarding culture, the third member of the delegation Erica Rivolta (Northern League) and head of the Culture Commission mentioned the proposal of a Palazzo Italia (Italy House) and the creation of an Italian school for young Emirati students in Italian universities, who are particularly interested in the scientific faculties. ''The idea is to create a cultural centre for art, language and fashion,'' Rivolta explained. The centre, still in the negotiation stage, would be a showcase for Italian culture, art and history. It could be built on Saadiyat Island, where subsidiaries of the Louvre and Guggenheim Museum are already under construction.(ANSAmed).

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