Italy has appointed a new envoy for the Mediterranean area and the Arab Spring movements. He is Maurizio Massari, who has been foreign ministry spokesman for the last three years.
It was announced in a statement from the ministry, that he was named for the post by by foreign minister Giulio Terzi "in light of his broad and wide-ranging curriculum and vast international experience."
It was further stated, that "the appointment comes in the context of a renewed, more intense and dynamic attention towards the southern rim of the Mediterranean, a year from (the start of) the Arab Spring, a strategic priority of Italian foreign policy".
Maurizio Massari is Fellow at the Weatherhead Centre of International affairs of Harvard, with a Master degree in International Relations at the John's Hopkins and writer of many publications on the most important international issues.
Massari has held many positions in prestigious institutes in Moscow, London and Washington, Italian news agency, ANSA said. Later he was chosen to lead the OSCE mission to Belgrade, with the title of Ambassador, and appointed head of the Italian foreign ministry's Analysis and Planning unit, where he stayed until January 2006, when he was nominated as chief of the Press Office and spokesman of the foreign ministry.
The Italian news agency has reported that sources in the foreign ministry specified that the mandate given by Minister Terzi to Maurizio Massari covers three main areas: the improvement of relations with the new political parties and with the civil society of the Arab Spring countries; a contribution to the development of a national strategy for the Mediterranean; the exploration of proposals and initiatives regarding the consolidation of the regional context in the broadened Mediterranean area.
When he announced his decision, Minister Terzi underlined that he has taken Massari's very high professional profile, the fact that he is highly appreciated on international level and Massari's wide-ranging experience on important questions regarding the Mediterranean and Middle East into account.
Massari has already scheduled a busy programme of visits and meetings with partners in the region. He will discuss national and European strategies with Minister Terzi, aimed at giving a further impulse to these dimensions that are crucial for Italy's foreign policies.
Minister Terzi has also thanked Maurizio Massari for ''the exceptional work he has done in the past years. He said: “He deserves my full respect, as well as the respect of my predecessor and the entire administration, which will soon lead to his taking on an even greater role."