United States and Italy Discuss Terrorist Concessions

(U.S. Department of State) U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Italy’s Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema had an in-depth and cordial phone conversation to follow up their constructive meeting in Washington.

It was stated that the United States does not support hostage exchanges or other concessions to terrorists was not a new position. It is a well-known and long-standing policy that the United States Government stressed to the Government of Italy during this crisis, as it has in previous kidnapping crises. Given the increased threat created for all of us who have people on the ground in places like Afghanistan, we expect that concessions will not be made in the future.

Secretary of State Rice and Foreign Minister D’Alema agreed on the positive and important nature of bilateral ties between Italy and the United States and the commitment by both governments to continue to work together in the longstanding spirit of trust and friendship between the two countries and peoples.

We must now focus on the extremely important work ahead of us in Afghanistan. Italy is playing a key role supporting the people and Government of Afghanistan and remains our important partner in other areas around the world.