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MEDITERRANEAN: Italy recognises Algeria’s role, says Massari

The Italian government and Minister Terzi sent a message expressing Italy’s recognition of Algeria’s role in uniting the two shores of the Mediterranean through the Minister’s Special Envoy for the Countries of the Mediterranean and the Arab Spring, Maurizio Massari, who made another stop in Algeria on a tour that has already taken him to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. Massari met in Algiers with representatives of the government (who included the foreign minister) and of the President of the Republic’s office and of the media. Among the themes discussed, and on which Massari found himself in full accord with his interlocutors, was the importance of the 5+5 dialogue forum to be held in Rome on 20 February, and its major potential for sector enlargement, a process on which Rome and Algiers fully agree. Italy expressed its willingness to help Algeria in many sectors, not least in light of its strategic choice to strengthen relations with the European Union, which include security and free trade. On this latter point a complex negotiation has been under way between Europe and Algeria for some time now, on which Massari said, “Algeria demands must be heard”. The excellent status of relations between Italy and Algeria will be confirmed at the next bilateral summit to be held in Algeria within the year (the last was held in 2007 in Alghero). A partnership that could be further reinforced, Massari pointed out, through broader structuring, with a special focus on the Italian development model for small and medium sized enterprises.

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