Mexico City, 04/07/2016
(Mexico City, 4 July 2016)
Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour for me to be here today and receive the warm and friendly welcome of Mexico City and its Institutions.
An enthralling city in which, over the centuries, different cultures have combined to shape its unique character.
A city whose vitality, strength and creativity, typical of the contemporary world's great cultural capitals, can be clearly perceived.
It is culture itself and above all the always fruitful blending of its diverse manifestations that represents our most powerful weapon to defeat terrorism, a plague which causes pain and death in every continent of the world, threatening peace and international security. Mexico, in Paris and Italy only three days ago in Bangladesh, have suffered the cruelty of terrorism.
We need to reaffirm our commitment to make reason prevail over ignorance, the values of freedom and democracy over horror and obscurantism. There could be no more significant venue than Mexico City - cradle of ancient civilizations and crossroads of cultures - to highlight our commitment.
My State Visit to Mexico bears witness to the particularly fervid phase of relations between our two countries.
Mexico City is a vital part of this relationship, rooted in shared values and interests and increasingly characterised by collaboration in the most diverse sectors: from the economy to scientific research, from culture to justice.
A substantial and skilled Italian community resides in Mexico City, having found a welcoming and favourable environment here. Over various decades, it has been able to integrate and actively contribute to the prosperity of the capital and the entire nation: of this we are very proud.
What is striking about this great city, marked clearly and profoundly by history, is its future-focused drive.
A drive that encourages new ideas and initiatives every day so as to build a future of ever increasing prosperity, and this is also evident in relations between Mexico and Italy.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Your Excellency, and all your fellow citizens, for Mexico City's designation as World Design Capital 2018: a recognition of the great creativity which is expressed here and which also constitutes fertile ground for new collaborations with Italy.
I would like to thank you for the honour you bestow on me by declaring me an Illustrious Guest and awarding me the Keys to the City: keys which, I am certain, will open important new doors to collaboration and friendship between Mexico and Italy.