Italy’s Meloni says NATO’s unity is crucial for global security

Italy’s Meloni says NATO’s unity is crucial for global security

Meloni stresses positive outcome of alliance’s summit in Lithuania while also touching on some domestic issues

By Giada Zampano

ROME (AA) – Italy’s prime minister said Wednesday that without the unity of NATO, no country would be safe, noting the positive outcome of the alliance’s summit in Lithuania on issues like Ukraine and national defense.

At a press conference following the summit, Giorgia Meloni addressed the main topics that were discussed. But she was also forced to respond to reporters' questions about a heated controversy with Italian magistrates over two judicial cases involving top government officials, which is putting her government under strain.

Addressing the war in Ukraine, the Italian premier noted that the conflict is having “heavy repercussions” on developing countries, including in Africa.

“These are consequences that create instability and are exploited by external parties and fundamentalists, also reverberating in Europe,” she added.

Regarding Ukraine's entry into NATO, Meloni said that "important steps forward” have been made.

“The accession process has been streamlined,” she noted, reiterating that Ukraine will enter NATO when conditions permit.

She added that Rome continues to work “to favor the negotiating conditions that should lead to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Italy, which will host the G-7 summit next year, intends to "play a leading role also on the issue of reconstruction to bet on a future of peace, freedom and well-being," she said.

Meloni also announced that she was invited by US President Joe Biden to the White House on July 27-28.

Responding to journalists' questions, she clarified her position on the heated debate with Italian magistrates, who are putting her government under pressure by accusing it of threatening their independence.

“There is, from my point of view, no conflict with the judiciary,” said Meloni. “Those who expect the return of the clash between politics and the judiciary (seen in the past) will be disappointed.”

The open clash between some Italian magistrates and Meloni’s far-right government intensified recently after two judicial scandals hit Tourism Minister Daniela Santanche and Senate speaker Ignazio La Russa, whose son has been accused of rape by a young woman.

After days of silence, Meloni tackled both cases.

“Politics should stay out…I understand him as a father, but I would not have intervened," she said, referring to statements made by La Russa about the 22-year-old woman, who accused his youngest son of sexual assault.

Regarding the case of Santanche, who is under investigation by Milan prosecutors over the alleged mismanagement of her companies, Meloni said “the Santanche issue does not concern her activities as a minister, which she’s performing very well.”

Meloni also stressed that investigating the merit of the case is a responsibility of the courtrooms and “not of TV broadcasts” and the media.

She also insisted that it was "not normal" that Santanche was not properly notified of the investigation, while an Italian newspaper reported about it on the same day the minister addressed parliament over the issue.

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