Declaration by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to the Chamber of Deputies
« We are working and have been working towards this solution; not just for this solution, but also to find ways to offer those willing to accept the path of exile, suitable safeguards, with the authority of international bodies that can then maintain them. We have worked towards the unveiling of arms and weapons stockpiles, which yet remain unidentified; we have been working, and keep working, towards convincing the dictator to provide specific assurances to the international community: for example, giving space to the opposition within a three months’ period, guaranteeing free elections within a specified timeframe, guaranteeing civil and human rights. All of this is being done in a confidential environment – which is a must – not only with an Arab country, which has offered to mediate, but with different countries, keeping the US Administration and the current President of the European Council Kostats Simitis constantly informed of the issue.»
Full text of the letter addressed by the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, to the President of the Council, Silvio Berlusconi
while we are facing an unparalleled threat, I wish to express the gratitude of the American people for the extraordinary support that You and Your Government have given to the global war on terrorism. You have been on our side and this we will not forget. Over the years, as has been the case in the Balkans and Operation Enduring Freedom, You have provided us with decisive support, not only by means of men and equipment, but also through a moral, humanitarian and constructive support. The deployment of the Alpini light infantry in Afghanistan and Your efforts to promote judicial reform in that same country, are two examples of Your outstanding contribution to the war against terrorism.
I deeply appreciate everything You and Italy have done. Due to the challenge Saddam Hussein posed to the international community, an important test can be expected in the near future. I appreciate Italy’s willingness to call once again on their own resources to fight international terrorism and lawlessness, and to contribute to the reconstruction of a stable and more democratic future in that region.
Leadership, as You know well, consists of the capacity to confront challenges. In this new era, the world finds itself confronted with a serious challenge in a combination of years of mass destruction, the scourge of terrorism and those States supporting or in complicity with terrorism. I believe that no nation alone can defeat these enemies.
Success depends on the widest possible international collaboration. Such is my conviction and my commitment. Italy’s contribution in this effort is really crucial. As I told You in our recent conversation, I am deeply grateful for Italy’s contributions and Your personal support and commitment in this critical moment. Sincerely.”
Source: Corriere della Sera
Interview to Corriere della Sera
«I did not want the war in Iraq» Berlusconi: «I tried to convince Bush. With Gaddafi we looked for other ways, to avoid the military attack»
ROME - The iron ally of George W. Bush believed the “preventive” war could and should have been avoided. Nearly two years after the first bombing of Baghdad it is discovered that Silvio Berlusconi tried in every way to convince the American President unleashing the military offensive in Iraq would not be right. To say so is the Prime Minister himself in an exclusive interview with La7: “I have never been convinced that war was the best way to create a democratic country and help it get rid of a bloody dictatorship”. Words uttered in hours of spreading shadow over the Italian government for the CIA-Gate case and on the day before the official visit of the Prime Minister to Washington.
In the interview, to be fully broadcasted on Monday, Berlusconi goes into the details of what is a sensational and unexpected revelation. “I tried to find other ways and other solutions through a joint activity with African leader Gaddafi. We did not succeed and the military operation took place.” “I believed –Berlusconi continues – that military action was supposed to be avoided.”
Il Cavaliere (‘The Knight’, red.) also expressed his views on international politics and his relations with other Prime Ministers. “Tony Blair – he stresses – is not the global Olive leader. There is nothing in Tony Blair’s’ policy which is contrary to that of Silvio Berlusconi.” “I disagree as well – Berlusconi affirms – with the classification of Vladimir Putin as a communist in the orthodox sense of the word. It is hard going from a seventy years old dictatorship to a full democracy, because there are situations which cannot be erased by a simple twist of the magic wand.”
Source: Corriere della Sera