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Italy’s political action in the enlarged Mediterranean

Italy is increasingly establishing itself as a strategic crossroads of political, economic and energy cooperation. The wide-ranging political action that the Italian government has deployed in recent months with the enlarged Mediterranean at its centre continues.

After the mission to the United Arab Emirates and the fruitful meeting with the local Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani met today in Rome with Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Attaf. The discussion covered not only Libya and Tunisia — priority countries in the political agendas of Italy and Algeria — but also involved an in-depth analysis of the regional dynamics of the Sahel, with a particular focus on Mali and Burkina Faso. In fact, the worsening fragility of the regional framework, together with the rooting of jihadist terrorist groups and the possible consequences on migratory flows worry both countries.

Minister Tajani’s frequent visits in recent months to the main countries of the enlarged Mediterranean (Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, UAE) and his constant contacts with his main counterparts in the region have enabled the Italian government to play a leading role in a shared work agenda on priority issues: political and security stability, economic prosperity, the fight against illegal migration, and energy and trade cooperation. This particularly intense work agenda will continue with the organisation in Rome of an International Conference on Development and Migration, aimed at combining a renewed international commitment in the fight against irregular migration flows with an ambitious effort to tackle its root causes.

In the coming weeks, further appointments are planned in Rome by the Deputy Prime Minister within the framework of Mediterranean diplomacy, including meetings with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and with the main counterparts in the region, including the Israeli, Moroccan and Kuwaiti ministers, and the participation as guest of honour of the Croatian government at the Dubrovnik Forum, an important annual conference that brings together Balkan and Mediterranean countries.