Visto l’interesse che da sempre European Affairs nutre verso l’intelligence e la difesa, non potevamo non cogliere alcune novità editoriali ed alcuni importanti anniversari – appena trascorsi ed ignoti ai più – di sicuro interesse per gli appassionati di questioni strategiche e per gli addetti ai lavori.
Italy will continue to firmly support intensifying relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, Foreign Minister of Italy Angelino Alfano said in his letter addressed to his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said. Angelino Alfano underlined that during the past 25 years the two countries have established important cooperation especially in the economic field and that Italy gradually becoming the main trade partner of Azerbaijan. Mammadyarov instead, expressed his hope that Italy as member of the OSCE Troika starting from 2017, will make efforts for the soonest and just settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the norms and principles of international law.
Italy and Germany are reportedly seeking an EU mission to stabilise Libya’s 5,000km southern border with neighbouring countries and curb migration, EUobserver reported. German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, and his Italian counterpart, Marco Minniti, want the mission set up between Libya and Niger. Both minister, in a letter to European Commission, asked EU to act as soon as possible. Also France told the necessity to increase living conditions in the area. According to local authorities, maintain south Libya border is a solution to resolve the global migrant crisis in the country. The exodus from the coast has increased by over 44 percent – when compared to the same period last year – with some 45,000 people having disembarked between January and mid-May so far, EUobserver wrote.
The personal envoy of Khalifa Haftar and Libyan ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Basit Al-Badri, has criticized the Italian role in Libya, saying the Italians had attempted to impose a government on Libyans. Al-Badri has criticised Italian implication in Libyan political peace process. “Italy also appointed Paolo Serra as head of UNSMIL Security Arrangements Committee, which prompted many Libyans to consider him as the grandson of General Graziani who killed Omar Mukhtar and set up detention camps all over Libya”, He remarked. Critics was also against former Obama administration, which has, according to them, install Muslim Brotherhood.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe-American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi in meeting with his Italian counterpart Vincenzo Amendola acknowledged 50 percent growth in trade exchanges between Tehran and Rome. Takht-e-Ravanchi said that Italy is one of important trade partners of Iran. According to the report of Foreign Ministry Media Department, Takht-e-Ravanchi reminded the existing crises in the Middle East region, and dismissed unilateral military action and expressed Iran’s readiness for cooperation and exchanging views with Italy to solve regional problems. He called Italy’s presence in Tehran International Book Fair as symbol of friendly ties between the two countries. Amendola also expressed his government’s interest to strengthen and deepen ties with Iran and talk about Italian companies’ desire for economic cooperation with Iranian firms. Italy supported nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 and will do its utmost for full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Vincenzo Amendola said. He said that regional crises has no military solution, adding that Italy as member of the UN Security Council and head of Group 7 is to use its capacity in line with achieving political solution for settling regional problems.
Italy is to continue providing treatment to members of the Peshmerga forces wounded during the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), the Italian Consul to Erbil. Masoud Barzani received the new Italian Consul to the Kurdistan Region, Serena Muroni, in Erbil on Monday, the Kurdistan Region’s Presidency (KRP) reported. According to a statement by the KRP, Muroni reaffirmed her country’s support and training for the Peshmerga forces as well as medical treatment to wounded Peshmerga forces. Barzani acknowledged the government of Italy, saying the country has expressed readiness to support the Kurdistan Region and the Peshmerga forces in the rainy days that have plighted the region. After Barzani brought up the issue of a referendum and the independence of Kurdistan, Consul Muroni said Italy supports any effort which brings stability and peace to the area, the KRP stated. Italy has about 750 soldiers stationed in military camps in Baghdad and Erbil, and mostly trains Iraqi army and police. The country has also provided Iraqi forces with 24 B1 tanks and provides air support with four Tornado warplanes and two Boeing 767 aircrafts. Iraq has also signed a contract with Italy’s Trevi Group worth €273 million ($296 million) to reinforce and maintain Mosul Dam for 18 months. In an unannounced visit, Italy’s Defense Minister visited Iraq on February 3 and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Following her meeting with Abadi, Minister Roberta Pinotti held talks with senior Kurdish officials the next day. According to the KRP at the time, Pinotti said Italian assistance to the Kurdistan Region and Peshmerga forces would continue.
Italy intends to take serious steps for development of cooperation with Azerbaijan in non-oil sector, said Italy’s Minister of Economic Development Calenda. He made the remarks during his meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. The Azerbaijani minister is on an official visit in Italy. Azerbaijan is an important economic partner of Italy, Italian companies operate successfully in Azerbaijan, particularly, in the energy sector, and it is necessary to take serious steps in order to continue this cooperation, said Calenda. Calenda and Mammadyarov finally noted the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) for Italy in terms of providing additional gas volumes.
Italy on April 19 called on Turkey to release a journalist arrested this month near the Syrian border while he was researching refugees. Gabriele Del Grande, 34, was clapped in cuffs by Turkish police on April 9 during interviews with people who had fled the war-torn neighboring country for a book he is writing on the conflict and the origins of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The foreign ministry in Rome said in a statement that Del Grande had managed to speak to his relatives by telephone on April 18 but that “this is obviously not enough”. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician, also called for his immediate release.
Mr. Zarif called Mr. Angelino Alfano, Italian counterpart Wednesday to discuss latest situation in bilateral relations as well as matters of mutual interest. Zarif rejected unilateral US missile attackg on al-Shayrat airfield purportedly to respond alleged Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians in Idlib province earlier this month; “this is totally unacceptable that a country hits a target in a sovereign nation on the conjectural matter that Assad had used chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhoun, a speculation many observers still cast doubt as to the certainty of the incident”, Mr. Zarif said in the phone call. Both sides shared the view that a fact-finding committee should look into the issue to provide to the international public some enlightenment on the disaster. Syrian government says an old depot of chemical weapons belonging to the rebel fighters was hit by airstrike and poisonous gases from the depot polluted the air in Khan Shaikhoun, Idlib province. Among the victims young people and children were detected. Opposition groups and western media had implicated President Assad in the incident while the Syrian government had totally given up its chemical weapons under UN control and confirmation.
Last February, Italy (and EU) has signed an agreement with Libya to maintain the migration, to control their borders. The agreement previous to send economical help to Libya, to help the country to contain migration, but also to built some refugees camps. However, Arjan Hehenkamp, general director of MSF (Doctors Without Borders), told on Monday that the idea that migrants can be housed in a humane way on Libyan soil “is simply impossible”. He underlined the unsafe situation of Libyan State, and added that it’s impossible now, to “think that Libya can be considered part of the solution”. The EU has so far trained about 90 people to work in the Libyan Coast Guard and Italy has promised to give them 10 patrol boats. Thus the solution to fight against human traffic in Libya revealed itself all the problem of Libyan chaos.