"It is our national interest to have the Mediterranean and Africa as the priority areas of reference of foreign policy,” said Minister Gentiloni in his opening remarks to the Italy-Africa Conference taking place this morning at the Foreign Ministry, when greeting the more than 50 delegations from the African continent.
“Our goal – he added – is to make our foreign policy increasingly coherent with our history and our geography because there is nothing fortuitous in our Country’s actions.” The Foreign Minister went on: “We see Africa as a land of opportunities that will play a leading role in the 21st century.” He added: “We Italians are working to transmit this awareness to Europe, which must give priority to Africa.” This is why, he said, “we will ask the upcoming European Council meeting in June to pass a broad spectrum operating plan to implement pilot projects on the short term.”
The Ministerial Conference was opened by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who highlighted the role played by Italy as “the bridge between Africa and Europe” thanks to its geography, history and culture.
President Mattarella said: “The globalisation process has further tightened the ties between Africa and Europe. The crises have increased the awareness that the fates of the two continents are even more interconnected.”