Italy opposition leader Conte asks gov't to stop arm supplies to Israel

Former premier criticizes Meloni government for abstaining UN General Assembly vote on truce in Gaza

Giada Zampano  | 16.11.2023 - Update : 16.11.2023
Italy opposition leader Conte asks gov't to stop arm supplies to Israel


Leader of populist opposition party 5-Star Movement (M5S) and former Premier Giuseppe Conte called on Italy's far-right government to stop arms' supplies to Israel, criticizing its “lack of courage” in dealing with the conflict in Gaza.

"Immediately suspend arms supplies to Israel,” Conte told parliament on Wednesday during a question time on the crisis in the Middle East.

“To do this you only need one thing that you lack: courage," he said, addressing Foreign Minister and Vice Premier Antonio Tajani.

Tajani rejected the accusation, saying “cowards are somewhere else.”

Conte had specifically referred to the government’s “cowardly attitude,” adopted on Oct. 27 at the UN with the abstention from the resolution on the humanitarian truce in Gaza.

“Cowards certainly do not sit on the benches of this government," Tajani said. “Perhaps the cowards are somewhere else, Mr Conte ... and I ask you to use a more appropriate language from a man who was prime minister.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has defended the government's decision to abstain in the vote. "It was the most balanced of all the possible positions," Meloni said after the vote. "It is no coincidence that it was the position of most of the EU, European and G7 countries.”

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