Italian FM Arrives for Talks

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is in Israel for talks aimed at "strategic dialogue," focusing on Iran, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the situation in the north.

Ironically, the foreign minister's arrival follows an announcement by the nation's prominent auto manufacturer, Fiat, of a contract with Iran to build its four-door sedan, Siena, in the Islamic state.

Fiat's press release said the vehicles would be manufactured at a plant in Saveh, 81 miles southwest of Teheran.

Components for the Siena are manufactured at a Tofas factory in Turkey.

The contract with Pars Industrial Development Foundation (PIDF) calls for the production of 50,000 Siena initially, with plans to expand to 250,000 autos annually.

Frattini will meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, as well as Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, The Associated Press

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