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Terrorism: Alfano, vigilant on infiltrations among migrants

Italian minister in Tunisia. Cooperation to be strengthen

03 October, 17:38

    Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, OCTOBER 3 - Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Friday said that ''it is not possible to draw a parallel between immigration and terrorism, also because many of these people are fleeing war and persecution''. However, the minister, who is currently visiting Tunis, added that ''with the same element of responsibility we use to state this we must also say that nobody can rule out risks of infiltration''.

    ''We have no such reports, something confirmed by recent probes, and we have ruled out jihadist or terror cells, but our level of alert remains high'', Alfano also said.

    Tunisian Premier Mehdi Jomaa assured Tunisia's full engagement in continuing the intense cooperation with Italy both bilaterally and as far as Libya is concerned.

    As far as the fight on terror, the need to boost the already effective coordination of police and intelligence work to fight radicalism and the phenomenon of ''foreign fighters'' was also stressed. The Tunisian government for its part expressed concern for the latest developments in Libya.

    ''It is clear that the Libyan front creates huge problems and damage as Libyan instability has an impact on Italy'', Alfano said. ''The solution to the Libyan problem is the key to solve the majority of problems affecting migrants who arrive in Italy''.

    Italy for its part, continued the minister, ''is carefully monitoring all possible terror risks, including those that are apparently less significant. The alert level is high, we cooperate with exchanges of information with other countries of Europe and the West, which is very effective''.

    Alfano also handed over two Italian patrol vessels that will enable the Tunisian government to boost its cooperation with Italy against illegal immigration and to welcome refugees in a better way.

    ''With the President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki, we spoke not just about this delicate Tunisian transition and the strengthening of democratic institutions, but mostly about the fight against illegal trafficking in the Mediterranean, starting with human smuggling rings and international terrorism''.

    The cooperation between the two countries continues on the issue of Tunisians reported missing at sea, a problem also raised during the visit of President Giorgio Napolitano to Tunis on 2012. Cooperation in this field continues ''very effectively'', confirmed the minister, stressing the engagement of the Italian ambassador to Tunis, who is ''absolutely careful on every aspect that can make that tragedy more bearable for families by finding out the truth''. The joint working group, he concluded, ''is based on the news and information in its possession and will continue to work until what really happened will be ascertained''. (ANSAmed)

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