Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Lauder asks Italy to urge EU to take more balanced stance toward Israel, Middle East

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 4 settembre 2013

Rome – The conflicts currently engulfing the Middle East and in particular Syria and the tense relationship between the European Union and Israel were the main points of the discussion between Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder in Rome on Tuesday. Letta said Italy was prepared to help in finding a solution to the Syrian conflict and added that the issue would be discussed by world leaders at the upcoming G20 summit.Ronald S. Lauder thanked the Italian head of government for the steadfast support successive administrations have given to the Italian Jewish community, and for the constructive relations with the State of Israel. The WJC president criticized recent one-sided measures taken by the European Union against Israel, in particular the issuing of guidelines for the labeling of produce from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and said they were harmful to the peace process.He also asked PM Letta to urge Brussels not to force Israel out of the Horizon 2020 program, the EU’s multi-billion-euro research and innovation scheme. “Europe has put itself into a corner. It is worrying to see how the EU has sidelined itself as an effective player at a time when there are several highly explosive conflicts in the region, when thousands are killed every month in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere. We hope Italy and other key EU member states will act to correct this and to get the EU’s foreign policy back on a track,” the WJC president said.The Italian prime minister said he looked forward to meeting soon with Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ronald S. Lauder was accompanied to the meeting by Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, WJC CEO and EVP Robert Singer and WJC Associate EVP Maram Stern. On Monday, the WJC leaders met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.

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