Strengthening Transatlantic ties. Karen Donfried, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was in Rome on Tuesday for a series of meetings, including with European Affairs Minister Raffaele Fitto, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s diplomatic advisor Francesco Talò, and the Foreign Ministry’s Secretary-General Ettore Sequi.
- During the meeting with the latter, the two reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations between Italy and the United States, confirmed by the latest meeting between PM Meloni and US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G20 in Bali.
- They also condemned Russian aggression and reiterated the importance of Euro-Atlantic coordination in supporting Kiyv.
- “Supporting Ukraine, strengthening Transatlantic relations, economic cooperation, the role of Italy in the EU: [those were] the topics of the exchange of views with [Ms Donfried], to strengthen collaboration between Italy, the US and EU on key international challenges,” tweeted Mr Fitto.
Thank you, Italy. “We must stay the course, continue to support Ukraine: it is existential for Ukrainians and crucial for European security,” said the US official while attending an event with Ukrainian refugees along with Ukrainian Ambassador Yaroslav Melnyk and Apostolic Exarch Dionysus Paul Lachovicz.
- Also present at the meeting were the US Embassy chargé d’affaires, Shawn Crowley, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See Andrii Yurash, and Italian officials from the Civil Defense and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior.
- Assistant Secretary Donfried thanked “all Italians who are helping Ukrainian refugees,” the Italian government, and nonprofit organizations.
A mother’s plea. “We want to go back. We thank the Italians because we are very well, they have given us everything we need, but I would like the war to end as soon as possible,” said Anna, a refugee and mother, to the press.
- She and her daughter fled Lugansk at the time of the first Donbas war in 2014 to take refuge in Nikolaj; eight years later, they had to run again, arriving in Italy last March.
- “To be united means to be safer: we want to continue this unity to bring peace to Ukraine as soon as possible; we rely very much on all our partners, Italy and the United States,” said Mr Melnyk.
Image: Twitter profile of the Italian ministry of Foreign Affairs