The Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, is in Algeria today to attend the third meeting of the “Strategic bilateral dialogue between Italy and Algeria on policy and security issues”. The meeting is a follow-up of the meeting held in Rome last 8 July. The representative of the Italian Government – accompanied by the Italian Ambassador to Algeria, Pasquale Ferrara, and by an inter-ministerial delegation – co-chaired the meeting together with the Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League States of Algeria, Abdelkader Messahel. The meeting’s agenda focuses on the major regional crises (Libya, Tunisia, Mali and the Sahel region and Western Sahara) and will evaluate the threat of terrorism at regional and international level through presentations on the themes of foreign fighters, the financing and the connection with organised crime, terrorism and radicalism. Special focus is placed on the situation in Libya and the role of the International Community in stabilising the Country. Libya is a dossier on which Italy and Algeria share the same approach: support Libya’s ownership, respect the Country’s territorial integrity and unity and promote an inclusive process, under the action of the United Nations. Furthermore, both Italy and Algeria maintain that Libya’s political Agreement – also providing for possible adjustments and recalibrations – should remain the framework within which to promote the solution of the crisis.
“We cannot allow Libya to fall back into chaos. The reopening of our Embassy in Tripoli last 10 January proves our commitment and our confidence in the Country’s capacity to overcome the current crisis. Our Ambassador to Libya was in Tobruk a few days ago to confirm Italy’s support to all the Libyan people on the path towards reconciliation,” said Mr Amendola.
“We favourably welcome the positive initiatives by neighbouring Countries and regional Organisations such as the African Union and the Arab League. Cohesive and consistent international efforts supporting the mediation of the United Nations play an important role in the resolution of the Libyan crisis,” added Mr Amendola. This is a priority goal for Italy, as the Foreign Minister Alfano underscored at the Munich Security Conference last 18 February.
During his visit, Undersecretary Amendola will have a bilateral meeting with Algeria’s Minister Messahel tomorrow. He will also meet with representatives of Italian businesses in Algeria and of humanitarian organisations. At present, approximately 180 Italian companies are stably settled in the Country and operate, among others, in strategic sectors such as infrastructure and energy. With trade volumes amounting to almost 9 billion euros (2016 figures), Italy is currently Algeria’s major trade partner.