Italy, Berlin agree to disagree on UN reform

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2004 , ROME - Italy and Germany are in "total agreement" on most issues, but not on how best to reform the United Nations Security Council, the countries' heads of government said after holding a bilateral summit in Rome. Addressing reporters after the talks, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his host, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the two countries shared similar views on a variety of topics. These included the need for Turkey to join the European Union and for the union

14 October 2004

ROME - Italy and Germany are in "total agreement" on most issues, but not on how best to reform the United Nations Security Council, the countries' heads of government said after holding a bilateral summit in Rome.

Addressing reporters after the talks, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his host, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the two countries shared similar views on a variety of topics.

These included the need for Turkey to join the European Union and for the union to concentrate on boosting economic growth following "three years of stagnation".

However, "it is known that there are differences on one point: UN reform. On this, neither of us saw any reason to change our position," Schroeder said.

Asked whether he had attempted to change his colleague's position, Berlusconi said: "We didn't even try. We believe Germany's position is legitimate, just as Germany believes Italy's is too."

Italy and Germany have been at odds with each other over competing proposals to reform the Security Council.

Germany,s request for a permanent seat in the council is opposed by, among others, Italy, which would prefer the creation of a rotating European seat instead.

The current Security Council comprises five permanent members with veto power: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

On immigration, the two leaders reaffirmed their agreement on controversial plans to set up reception centres in Africa for immigrants wishing to reach the EU.

The plan, drafted by Germany in a bid to stop thousands of illegal immigrants from reaching Europe, has been given a lukewarm reception by other countries - notably France and Spain.

But Italy, where thousands of illegal immigrants arrive after crossing the Mediterranean Sea and which has been forced to deal with an "immigration emergency" over the past weeks, has been one of its most enthusiastic supporters.

"We must avoid that human beings risk their lives in their attempts to reach Europe," Schroeder said in Rome.

Countless immigrants are believed to have died at sea while attempting to reach the Italian coast on unseaworthy boats.

DPA

Subject: German news



 

0 Comments To This Article