Italy's Fight With Terrorism

Allow me to express surprise at the contents of the article by Doyle McManus (April 4), "Secret Deals With Libya by France, Italy Reported."

According to the article, Italy would have enjoyed immunity from attacks of international terrorism because of alleged pacts and "secret deals" with Libya and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1970s.

On behalf of my government, I categorically deny such allegations, which are without any foundation and are in total contrast with my government's efforts in fighting terrorism. More than any other European country, Italy has brought to justice a number of terrorists who perpetrated their heinous acts both on domestic and foreign shores.

I would also like to point out that the Italian government has been amongst the most active in promoting tighter and more effective international cooperation against terrorism. It has and is taking all the necessary political and diplomatic initiatives to isolate those who support, tolerate or encourage subversive organizations.

Our efforts have been highly praised by the international community and even the American government has, in several instances, commended our policy and its effectiveness in combatting the plague of terrorism.

The facts speak for themselves: In the past 15 years, Italy has been repeatedly hit by numerous and bloody acts of terrorism, which show the total inconsistency of the allegations.

I would like to conclude by quoting a statement recently made by Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti at the Italian Senate's Foreign Relations Committee:

"We have never accepted compromises nor softened our position throughout the years Italy was plagued by internal terrorism lead by urban guerrilla groups such as the Red Brigades.

"I do not understand, therefore, how the present government or those that preceded it could think, even for a single moment, that easing our stand could protect Italy from international terrorism."


Consul General of Italy

Los Angeles

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