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Berlusconi Warns US to Respect Italy's Sovereignty


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has summoned the U.S. ambassador and demanded that the United States fully respect his country's sovereignty.

The meeting between Mr. Berlusconi and Ambassador Mel Sembler focused on the alleged CIA kidnapping of a radical Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003. The cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar was later transferred to Egypt, where the victim said he was tortured.

Italian authorities said the ambassador assured Mr. Berlusconi of full U.S. respect for Italy.

Carlo Giovanardi
Last week, an Italian judge ordered the arrest of 13 U.S. citizens with ties to the CIA who were allegedly involved. Italy's Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Carlo Giovanardi told the country's Senate Thursday his country had no prior knowledge of the operation.

Italian news reports say the cleric is wanted on terrorism charges.

The United States and Egyptian officials have declined to comment on the Italian charges.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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