Readout of the President's Call with Prime Minister Renzi of Italy
The President spoke this morning with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi about the latest developments in Iraq, Libya, and Ukraine, as well as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. On Iraq, the two leaders agreed on the need to ensure humanitarian assistance is reaching vulnerable Iraqis, continue to seek the safety of the civilians on Mount Sinjar, and work together to develop options that will secure the safety of the civilians on Mount Sinjar. Renzi expressed his support for the United States’ efforts in Iraq. Both leaders noted the urgency of efforts to counter the threat ISIL poses against all Iraqis and discussed the latest developments in Iraq’s political transition. On Ukraine, the President and Prime Minister considered the developing situation and reiterated that any intervention under the guise of “humanitarian” assistance must be provided only with the formal, express consent and authorization of the Government of Ukraine, and noted ongoing efforts by the Ukrainian government to deliver humanitarian aid through the ICRC and other recognized international organizations. They agreed that any Russian steps not in accordance with these requirements would be unacceptable, would violate international law, and would lead to additional sanctions. On Libya, they emphasized their support for the democratically-elected Council of Representatives and the need to encourage full participation by all elected members while working to end the fighting between militias. Regarding the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the leaders supported World Health Organization efforts to assist national health services in the region, and agreed on the need for the international provision of additional resources to this effort.