The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, and the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, received the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, in Rome.

During their meeting, the Italian Ministers underlined the importance to have NATO’s support with regards to the threats coming from the South flank, such as terrorism. Italy is the fifth contributor to NATO’s budget and it has always engaged to NATO’s missions (such as Afghanistan and Kosovo). They also spoke about the importance of maintaining the dialogue between NATO and Russia. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “NATO has chosen the double track approach of firmness and dialogue, we are supporters of this approach and we hope to see this line constantly implemented in relations between NATO and Russia”.

NATO Secretary General confirmed the importance of Italy for the Alliance and underlined that during the NATO Summit (on 11th and 12th July in Brussels), the fight against terrorism will be a key topic. According to him, Italy is at the forefront of NATO’s adaptation to threats from the South. Indeed, Italy hosts NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples, which now includes a Hub for the South to better monitor regional threats, like terrorism and failing states to help coordinate NATO’s efforts in the region, and the NATO’s cutting-edge surveillance drones in Sicily.

This meeting took place a few days after the G7, during which the Italian Prime Minister asked for the withdrawal of sanctions against Russia, receiving the support also of President Donald Trump. This is also the reason why Italy appreciates the dualistic approach of NATO, which still tends to maintain political dialogue with Russia opened.

Maria Elena Argano

For further information:

NATO Website: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_155816.htm

ANSA Website: http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/politica/2018/06/11/conte-incontra-stoltenberg-a-palazzo-chigi-_ef339d55-bf33-4c3a-ab19-db9f24902a2a.html

Ministero degli Affari esteri Website: https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/comunicati/incontro-del-ministro-moavero-con-il-segretario-geneale-della-nato-stoltenberg.html