Mediterranean: Italy’s role – Terzi, missions in key Arab spring countries
ROME, Italy, January 9, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Minister Giulio Terzi will be making stops in the key Arab spring countries of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya on his mission to the Mediterranean, one of Italian foreign policy priorities often underscored by the Minister himself; an area where Italy is intent to play a prominent role. Meeting in Tunis on 6 January with Prime Minister Jebali, President of the Republic Marzouki and Foreign Minister Abdessalem, Terzi reiterated Italy’s support for that country’s democratic transition and economic revival, particularly on the job market front. “Tunisia’s success could contribute to the stability of the entire region and serve as a model for others of the Arab string countries”, Terzi explained. The minister assured that, as Tunisia’s second commercial partner after France, Italy was “ready to collaborate in all strategic sectors such as energy, transport, tourism and the development of small and midsize enterprises”, for which the Cooperation has already allotted €90 million (€17.5 of which in donations) in funding through 2011 programmes. Tunisian foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem sought to reassure Italian investors by guaranteeing that “thanks to its political stability Tunisia is becoming more attractive” to foreign businesses. Terzi and Abdelassem are set to co-chair a meeting in Naples on 20 February of the 5+5 group for the Mediterranean, which, according to Terzi, “could make a major contribution to bringing peace to the region”.
Minister Terzi will also be in Egypt this month, a strategic North African partner where Italy has deep political, economic and cultural roots. Minister Terzi’s visit to Cairo will offer an opportunity to strengthen relations with the Egyptian government and the new political forces and, in addition to bilateral concerns, to analyse dossiers regarding the Mediterranean and Middle East, in whose stabilisation Egypt continues to play a key role. The minister will make two other visits to the region with other members of the government, and on 21 January will accompany Prime Minister Mario Monti on a visit to Libya.
Minister Terzi personally monitors the situation in Libya on a daily basis. Efforts continue, in association with the Italian embassy in Tripoli, the other ministries concerned and the Office of the Prime Minister, toward putting bilateral relations with our Libyan partners back on track in a variety of sectors, ranging from the economy to security to the common effort to prevent illegal immigration.
Italy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs