§ Peter Hain
[holding answer 16 May 2002]: FCO Ministers are regularly in touch with the Italian Government bilaterally and in EU and other multilateral fora on a range of issues. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I meet our Italian counterparts at EU European Councils every six months and at General Affairs councils (GAC) on average once a month. We last met Prime (and Foreign) Minister Berlusconi at the Brussels GAC on Monday 13 May. In addition, the Prime Minister and I attended a bilateral summit on 15 February in Rome with Prime Minister Berlusconi and my Italian counterpart, 64W Minister Antonione. Officials are frequently in touch with their Italian counterparts at all levels on a wide range of subjects.