June 30, 2014 – Rome -- AJC met today with Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini in Rome, on the eve of Italy's assumption of the rotating EU presidency for the next six months.
The warm, productive discussion touched on a number of topics, including transatlantic relations, a range of Middle East-related concerns, and what President Obama has identified as a "rising tide of anti-Semitism" in Europe.
The two parties also discussed the current crisis in Ukraine, as well as issues of mutual concern in the Balkans, against the backdrop of a recent AJC visit to Croatia and the Minister's particular interest in the neighboring region.
"We were delighted to have this opportunity to meet with Minister Mogherini, who could not have been more welcoming, engaged, and knowledgeable on the many pressing issues of mutual concern," said AJC Executive Director David Harris, who has been closely connected to Italy since first going to work there in 1975 to assist Soviet Jewish refugees in transit. "We shall look forward to other opportunities to continue the discussion and deepen the collaboration."
At the conclusion of the meeting, both sides agreed to pursue cooperation in a number of important policy areas.
AJC has maintained long-standing relations with Italy through its office in Rome, directed by Lisa Palmieri-Billig, as well as close ties with Italian diplomats posted abroad.