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Italian Premier Arrives for Visit

June 13, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Italian Premier Ciriaco de Mita arrived in Washington on Monday for a three-day visit to discuss the forthcoming seven-nation economic summit in Toronto and the deployment of 72 U.S. fighter jets in his country.

De Mita will meet with President Reagan on Tuesday to review developments in arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union and the recent Moscow summit, a U.S. official said.

The official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the two leaders also will discuss the economic summit which begins in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday and which brings together the leaders of the United States, Canada, France, West Germany, Japan, Britain and Italy.

Also on their agenda is a review of the American plan for peace talks in the Middle East, the official said.

″Italy, as a Mediterranean state, has a view of the Middle East and of the region which it believes is unique,″ the official said. ″They have different views, but we’ve always wanted to listen to them.″

Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who also will meet with De Mita, has kept Italy informed of his efforts to bring Arabs and Israelis to the negotiating table, the official said.

Italy believes Israel and its Arab neighbors should meet under international auspices to negotiate an agreement under which Israel would give back all the lands it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The United States favors a return of some lands to be worked out in direct Arab-Israeli talks, without external interference.

De Mita also will meet with Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci to discuss the deployment of the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing in Italy. The Italian parliament is expected to approve the deployment of the F-16s, which are being evicted from their base in Spain.

Once parliamentary approval is given, experts from NATO and the Italian government will meet to decide where the 72 planes will be deployed and what construction needs to be undertaken to accommodate them, the official said.

De Mita, who heads the Christian Democratic Party, took office last April at the head of Italy’s 48th post-war government. This is his first visit to the United States since taking office.

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