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December 17, 2001
1210 IST

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Italy backs India's war on terrorism

Italy has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against terrorism and has stressed on increased economic cooperation between the two nations.

"Terrorism is a global phenomenon and should be wiped out, and we are with both India and United States in their fight against it (terrorism)", Italian ambassador to India Benetton Amari said in Lucknow on Monday.

The ambassador, who was on a two day visit to the Uttar Pradesh capital, said there was tremendous scope for joint ventures and programmes between the two countries especially in the field of culture, tourism, health and slum eradication.

Referring to a joint programme between Italy and India against drug trafficking and organised crime, he said this could always be extended to deal with terrorism.

"We have expertise in restoration of monuments and presently a major project between the Rome university and Archaecological Survey of India (ASI) is underway for the restoration of the famous Sun temple, Konark, and more such projects can be undertaken", he said while speaking to reporters here.

The ambassador pointed out that Italy draws close to 80 million tourists annually, and that the Italian Government had already opened a tourist bureau in Mumbai and another would be opened in Delhi soon, to boost tourist traffic between the two countries.

The Italian government was giving financial assistance to India directly or through the World Bank and IMF and would look for increased economic coopreation in future, Amari added.

PTI

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