Rome, July 1, 2004 … In a meeting with a delegation of leaders from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reinforced the central importance of Italy's relationship with the United States and Israel.
"Italy is the closest friend of the United States and Israel. We shall continue along the road we started out on together," the Italian premier told the ADL leadership delegation led by Barbara B. Balser, National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director.
During their stay in Rome, the League delegation met with an array of top government officials, including Marcello Pera, President of the Italian Senate; Pierferdinando Casini, President of the Chamber of Deputies; Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and Undersecretary of State Margherita Boniver; and Giuliano Amato, Senator of the Italian Republic. Among the issues discussed were Italy-U.S. relations, support for Israel and efforts to fight global anti-Semitism, including the recent upsurge of incidents across Europe.
At the Vatican, the ADL leaders met with Monsignor Pietro Parolin, Undersecretary for Relations between States; Cardinal Georges Cottier and Father Norbert Hoffman. The leaders discussed the opening of the Vatican's World War II-era archives, anti-Semitism and the broadening of Catholic-Jewish relations.