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Press Release
Conclusions of the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy - Senate of the Republic
Senato della Repubblica

Full support was expressed to the High Representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, and to the objective of consolidating the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The new international political scenarios, from Ukraine to the Middle East and Africa, require a credible presence of the European Union, based on concrete action and the ability to speak with one strong voice, starting with the strengthening of the role of the High Representative.

All this emerges from the "Conclusions" of the Interparliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy, held in the Senate on Thursday 6 November and Friday 7 November 2014 in the framework of the parliamentary dimension of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The proceedings were opened on Thursday morning by the welcome addresses of the Presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, Pietro Grasso and Laura Boldrini. Addresses were delivered by a number of personalities, including the High Representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Defence, Roberta Pinotti, the Under-Secretary for Defence, Domenico Rossi, the Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees and the Defence Committees of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, respectively Pier Ferdinando Casini and Fabrizio Cicchitto, and Nicola Latorre and Elio Vito, who also chaired the proceedings.

In the past two days the Palazzo Madama, seat of the Senate, welcomed delegations from 26 EU member countries, 6 candidate countries, and the European Parliament, totalling about 260 participants. The proceedings were broadcast live on the Senate satellite channel, web TV and YouTube channel.
The document adopted today at the end of the Conference stressed the need to fully support the European initiative "Operation Triton", destined to replace the "Mare Nostrum" operation in the fight against illegal migration and the trafficking of human beings.

As to the situation in the Middle East, the Interparliamentary Conference called for the resumption of negotiations towards a final agreement based on the "two States" (Israel and Palestine) solution, defined as the "only way for peace, stability and reconciliation".

On the conflict at the borders between Syria and Iraq, the Conference firmly condemned "the horrendous practices of forced impregnation, human trafficking, public executions and sexual slavery", and underlined the need for a strong EU commitment to combat ISIS militia, with special regard to ideological propaganda by Islamic fundamentalists. To this end, it is necessary to encourage the religious leaders of the Muslim world to clearly distance themselves from the perpetrators of mass killings and horrible practices in the territories under militia control.

On the situation in Ukraine, the Conference reiterated its condemnation of Russia's military intervention and "illegal annexation" of Crimea. It called on Russia to immediately de-escalate the tensions with Kiev, withdraw its troops from the Ukraine territory and respect Ukraine's full territorial integrity. It also called on Moscow to "resume its role as EU's strategic partner in an appeased regional environment".

This morning, one session of the Conference was devoted to the situation in Libya. The Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Bernardino León, who was expected to participate, had to urgently go to Libya following a Supreme Court decision to invalidate the results of the latest elections. In this regard, the Conference stressed the need to concentrate all efforts and resources towards a political solution in support of the United Nations' mediation effort.
Lastly, the EU delegations gathered in the Palazzo Madama reiterated their "deep concern" for the situation of the two Italian marines and EU citizens detained in India since February 2012, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, also in view of Latorre's alarming health conditions, and underlined the need to solve the case in full compliance with international law, starting with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).