Achille Lauro

   An Italian cruise ship named after a prominent right-wing politician from Naples, the Achille Lauro became famous in October 1985 when members of a splinter group from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) took control of the vessel while it was en route to Port Said, Egypt, and terrorized its 500 passengers and crew. Sensitive to its relations with the Arab states, Italy tried to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis. With Egyptian cooperation, it was agreed that the terrorists would surrender in exchange for safe conduct to the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade. The only proviso was that no violent acts punishable by Italian law had been committed aboard the ship. When it became clear that an American tourist had, in fact, been killed, both the United States and the Italian governments wanted Egypt to allow extradition of the four perpetrators for trial. While en route to Yugoslavia, an Egyptian airliner carrying the Palestinians was forced by two U.S. jets to land at Sigonella in Sicily. President Ronald Reagan demanded the extradition of the terrorists; Egypt demanded that they be set free. Caught on the horns of a dilemma, Italian premier Bettino Craxichose to placate Arab opinion. It was decided that there was insufficient evidence to hold the terrorists and they were allowed to leave for Belgrade. An internal political crisis followed. The pro-American Partito Repubblicano Italiano/Italian Republican Party (PRI) temporarily resigned from the government and the Craxi administration was forced to submit to a parliamentary vote of confidence. Craxi defended his actions vigorously. In a speech to the Chamber of Deputies, he criticized U.S. over-eagerness to apply military solutions to diplomatic problems and defended the Palestinian struggle for autonomy. The Achille Lauro incident was a watershed in Italian–American relations, since it illustrated that the geopolitical realities of Italy’s position in the Mediterranean were potentially of equal or even greater importance for the country’s foreign policy as the American alliance.
   See also Foreign Policy.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Achille Lauro — Autres noms Willem Ruys Type paquebot transatlantique Histoire Mise en service 2 décembre 1947 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Achille Lauro — (* 16. Juni 1887 in Piano di Sorrento; † 15. November 1982 in Neapel) war ein italienischer Unternehmer und Politiker der Faschisten, der monarchistisch orientierten Rechten sowie der Neofaschisten. Er war das fünfte von sechs Kindern des Reeders …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Achille Lauro (Schiff) — Achille Lauro p1 Schiffsdat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Lauro Lines s.r.l. v. Chasser et al. — SCOTUSCase Litigants=Lauro Lines s.r.l. v. Chasser, et al. ArgueDate=April 17 ArgueYear=1989 DecideDate=May 22 DecideYear=1989 FullName=Lauro Lines s.r.l. v. Chasser, et al. USVol=490 USPage=495 Citation=109 S. Ct. 1976; 104 L. Ed. 2d 548; 1989 U …   Wikipedia

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