Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni was in Marseille today to attend the 13th Foreign Affairs Ministerial meeting for Dialogue in the Western Mediterranean (“Dialogue 5+5”). Other participants include the Foreign Ministers of France, Malta, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya and the Secretaries of State of Spain and Portugal. Invited to attend the meeting as Observers are the Union for the Mediterranean, the Arab Maghreb Union and the Anna Lindh Foundation.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, Salaheddine Mezouar.
The Foreign Affairs Ministerial meeting is the most relevant encounter on the “Dialogue 5+5” agenda as it offers an opportunity to reinforce cooperation and integration among Participating Countries on a number of issues that are sensitive for the entire region. The main issues on the agenda were: the situation in Libya; migration flows; the fight against terrorism to assure the security and stability of the Western Mediterranean and its neighbouring regions; the economic development of the Western Mediterranean, with a special focus on youth inclusion programmes.
At the meeting, Italy reaffirmed the importance of jointly supporting the stabilisation of Libya by reinforcing the Government of National Accord and confirmwed its support to the activities of the Union for the Mediterranean and to the Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue, also following up on the second ministerial meeting the ALF Advisory Board held at the Farnesina on 8 September 2016.
The meeting was attended by representatives of multilateral institutions headquartered in Marseille, including the OCEMO (Office de Coopération Economique pour la Méditerranée et l’Orient), the l’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and the CMI (Centro Mediterraneo per l’Integrazione/Banca Mondiale), of which Italy has been a member since 2015, encouraging it to cooperate with the Italian institutions that are most active in promoting cooperation in the Mediterranean (AICS, Istituto Agronomico d’Oltremare (Overseas Agronomic Institute), the UniNettuno e-learning University, etc.).