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Under-Secretary of State Mario Baccini
Interview with Giusy Franzese in Il Mattino
September 12, 2001

He’s in his office at the Farnesina when he is told to turn on the television. The perturbing images of the two airplanes crashing into the World Trade Towers in Manhattan, which later caused the buildings to collapse with thousands of people still trapped inside, are now running on all television channels. Undersecretary of State Mario Baccini is almost at a loss to describe the horror of the images.

"This is a very serious incident. A tragedy that involves the American people and all men and women who believe in the values of civilized coexistence and peace in the world."

Q. Italy is traditionally a country close to the USA. Do you believe there is a danger of such serious attacks here as well?

A. "Italy has always carried out international negotiations in favor of peace, never against someone or something."

Q. For a couple of months now some American reports warned of the dangers of devastating terrorist attacks. How do you explain the underestimation of the danger that made it possible to attack the Pentagon?

A. " I believe it was impossible for anyone to have foreseen these attacks by civilian aircraft."

Q. What will the consequences now be on the Middle East peace process?

A. "Obviously, the actions of those working to achieve peace will now be brought into question."

Q. Peace, therefore, is slipping further away?

A. "I hope not. I am still confident that a peaceful course can be pursued."

Q. Are the Italian Embassies in the United States secure?

A. "For now we have activated the crisis Unit. We will have to wait and see what else is required."

END