Italy presses for bigger UN role

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ROME - The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said that he was optimistic Italy would be made a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. 'I have had wide-ranging talks with many state leaders recently, and with regards to this possibility have found broad support,' he said in an interview with RAI state radio. Mr Berlusconi said he had discussed the issue with the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, President Bill Clinton and several European leaders. 'I think it will be a way of giving Italy a more significant (foreign) role than it has had to date,' he added. Reuter