Silvio Berlusconi has promised that Italy will not recognise a Palestinian state if one is declared without agreement with Israel.
The Italian Prime Minister, speaking during a Yom Ha'atzmaut event in Rome, was quoted pledging that Italy would "absolutely not" accept a unilateral declaration.
He said: "There is no other course other than an agreement between the two states. Our policy has always gone in this direction, and it is also the policy of the European Union."
At the event, hosted by Israeli ambassador to Italy Gideon Meir, Mr Berlusconi added: "When there is a dialogue that will represent all of the Palestinians, we can make progress."
In a message marking Israel's 63rd birthday, Mr Berlusconi wished Israel to "be strong as Moses's staff, fair as the Bible, as blessed as the manna and as happy and joyous as a rainbow