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Europe

Italy and Germany Still at Odds over UN

A meeting between Italian and German leaders has done little bridge differences over Berlin’s bid to get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

A meeting between German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday saw Rome's opposition to the move remain solid. "Nobody saw an opportunity to change his position," Schröder said after the meeting. "We did not try to convince Germany to change its position," Berlusconi said. He added that it is legitimate that both sides defend their respective interests. However, co-operation between Rome and Berlin is very good, according to the Italian prime minister. Italy has been insisting that it would be better for the EU to try and get a permanent seat in the Security Council and not just one member state. Prior to the meeting, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer rejected this. Speaking to the Berliner Zeitung he said that if Italy thought itself to be a better candidate for a permanent seat then it should come forward. He said a seat for the EU in the Security Council is not going to become a reality for the foreseeable future. The UN Security Council has five permanent members - China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia. It also has 10 rotating members elected for two-year terms. Germany, together with Japan, India and Brazil, have made their intentions of seeking permanent seats clear. (EUobserver.com)

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