Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy today on a range of issues, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the country's support for United Nations efforts in Mali and the entire Sahel region, as well as in Libya and Somalia.
Mr. Ban and Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata also discussed the crisis in Syria as well as the recent meeting of the core group of the Friends of Syria, which took place in Rome last week, according to information provided by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.
They agreed on the urgent need to find a political solution to the ongoing violence and to put a halt to the human rights abuses, the spokesperson said.
On Mali, the Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for Italy's support to the UN's engagement, including support to European Union initiatives, as well as for the work of former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, the UN Special Envoy for the Sahel, on the development of a strategy for the troubled northern African sub-region.
In discussions on other topics, Mr. Ban commended the Foreign Minister for Italy's leadership role in support of Libya's transition to democracy following the fall of the Government of Muammar al-Qadhafi.
Mr. Ban expressed his hope that Italy and the European Union will continue to provide strong support to the African Union Mission in Somalia and to other UN efforts in support of the Somali authorities.