Interview with Dr. Giulio Terzi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Xebat: Italy had an important rule helping Iraq’s population after the release of Saddam’s dictatorship. We can’t forget “Antica Babilonia” the mission of peace ended on Decembre 2006 with the handing over of security’s responsability to the local authorities……. Considering the bilater agreements between Italy and Iraq, that are very old and intensive, I ask you if is it the moment to mediate the differences between local Kurdish government and federal government managed by Al Maliki, who risk to take the country in another conflict?
Giulio Terzi: Italy worked a lot to reconcile Iraq’s population, increasing the occasions of a bilateral dialog, encouraging partnership’s signature, supporting many programs of institution and capacity building, being always attentive to the involvement of Iraqi officials who represent ethnic groups and community. We are sure that, in the long run, also the national identity of all Iraqi will profit by communal work’s habit, in Iraq and abroad, encouraged by our plans in favour of members of Parliament, politicians and academics, diplomats, judges, militaries, journalists, restorers, archaeologist, officials of transportations and even aerospace’s engineers.
In innumerable bilateral meetings we spoke about communal interests and also about Italian’s participation to the reconstruction of the country, never neglecting usual appeals to the moderation, to inclusion, to respect of ethnic and religious minorities. The last joint committee too, that was in Rome the last October, and co-charged by me and your Foreign Kurdish Minister Zebari, was a demonstration of trust, direct to stabilize the country and to consolidate a young democracy.
Xebat: During your last visit in Italy last September you met Massoud Barzan, the President of the region of Kurdistan. It was clear the mutual will to still develop the yet strong business relationship and it was confirmed a growing interests of Italian companies for Iraq and particularly for Kurdistan which Italy is the first European country in import-export trade. Do you continue to encourage Italian companies to invest in Kurdish region?
Giulio Terzi: We consider the development of the autonomous region of Kurdistan of Iraq so important that not only we are pleased to often welcome the most important representatives of the regional government, starting from President Barzani, but also we have just decided to increase our presence in Erbil opening a Consulate of career. Many little and middle Italian companies, the most dynamic and not frightened of a new market’s challenge, are now present in Kurdistan. They could still increase as soon as the agreements with the Iraqi appropriate authorithies will encourage the beginning of airplane’s direct connections to Baghad and Erbil.
We are particularly satisfied with the results of our enthusiasm in promising fields as environment protection, culture, tourism, proved by the holding of Erbil’s restoration, the archeologic park of Nimrud and the creation of a natural mountain park from our CNR.
Translated by Elena Borotto
Biography of Minister
Giulio Terzi born in Bergamo in 1946, completed a degree in Law, specialising in International Law, at the University of Milan in Italy.
Other previous posts include that of Ambassador of Italy to Israel from 2002 to 2004, during which time, acting also as Italian EU Presidency representative, his focus was on strengthening the ties between Israel and Europe in an especially demanding context marked by the outbreak of the Second Intifada, a highly significant experience in which Giulio Terzi was able to gain a direct and even deeper understanding of Middle East issues.
In the most recent phase of his tenure at the Foreign Ministry in Rome, Giulio Terzi fulfilled the functions of Deputy Secretary General, Director General for Multilateral Political Cooperation and Human Rights, and Political Director.