Italy set to mediate NATO-Moscow relations

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says the renewal of Russia's dialogue with NATO is a major task facing Italy when it takes over the chairmanship of the G8 starting January 1, 2009.

Berlusconi says Italy has already begun working with the Russian and American leadership on setting up a possible summit.

According to the Italian Prime Minister there are a number of issues which will dominate talks with Russia. The non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the fight against terrorism, and ways out of the international crisis will certainly be high on the agenda for next year's G8 summit.

“I think I will have the authority, as well as the personal influence, to make sure that the U.S. administration, the Russian administration and the NATO leadership return to the mood of the Pratica di Mare summit, which worked well and envisaged twelve points of agreement, such as: military cooperation, cooperation to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons, counter-terrorism cooperation, and cooperation in order to resolve the international crises together,” Berlusconi told a news conference on Saturday.