UN reform, Iraq, immigration topagenda in Italy-Germany talks

13th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 October 2004 , ROME - The reform of the United Nations Security Council, immigration and Iraq were among the issues topping the agenda Wednesday during a bilateral summit in Rome between German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. This week's controversy over the nomination of Rocco Buttiglione, an ultraconservative Catholic, as Italy's commissioner in the new European Union Commission, was also likely to be among the topics of discussion during the one-day talks. I

13 October 2004

ROME - The reform of the United Nations Security Council, immigration and Iraq were among the issues topping the agenda Wednesday during a bilateral summit in Rome between German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

This week's controversy over the nomination of Rocco Buttiglione, an ultraconservative Catholic, as Italy's commissioner in the new European Union Commission, was also likely to be among the topics of discussion during the one-day talks.

Italy and Germany, traditionally strong allies within the EU, are 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 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.

Interior Ministers Giuseppe Pisanu of Italy and Otto Schily of Germany, meanwhile, were expected to press ahead with plans to set up reception centres in Africa for immigrants wishing to reach the EU.

The controversial 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.

Italy, where many immigrants arrive after crossing the Mediterranean Sea and which has been dealing with an "immigration emergency" over the past weeks, is one of its most enthusiastic supporters.

"We should certainly reassure those who have legitimate concerns. And these centres should be viewed within the context of a broader policy on immigration," Pisanu said ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

But Italy's Interior Ministry also insisted that illegal immigration is a problem that should be dealt with by all EU countries.

"There are countries that have not yet been affected by illegal immigration and which think it is none of their problem. They are wrong. Sooner or later, illegal immigrants will reach their countries too," Pisanu said. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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