Meloni Meets Biden for Ukraine and Gaza

Politics - March 6, 2024

It’s the second time in just 7 months that Giorgia Meloni, president of the European Conservatives and Reformists and Italian prime minister, has traveled to Washington, to the White House, to meet with Joe Biden, President of the United States.

Italy holds the presidency of the G7, but this matters only to a certain extent. In fact, her predecessors, even with very close relations with the American world, were invited to the White House only once throughout their term. This was the case with Mario Draghi, Giuseppe Conte, and even Paolo Gentiloni. It was the first stop of a trip that also took her to Toronto, Canada, to meet with Justin Trudeau. This situation categorically refutes those who believed that Meloni did not have the right credibility to speak with world leaders. There are many issues on the table, central to the discussion being the war in Ukraine and what is happening in Gaza, increasingly in emergency. “Thank you for the unwavering support for Kiev and for your leadership,” were the words with which Joe Biden welcomed Meloni. She is the Italian leader whom the American president relies on to reassure Europe that the support for Ukraine from the United States will not wane.

Although the American Congress is blocked on funds to Ukraine due to Republican obstructionism in the House, where Trump’s faction deputies and Speaker Mike Johnson prevent the sending of the already allocated 60 billion dollars. Furthermore, the Pentagon no longer has ammunition and means to send to the Ukrainian front. Quite different from what happened in Europe after Meloni herself inaugurated the G7 in Kiev alongside Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky. Here she reiterated the European and Roman commitment regarding financial and military aid with the signing of a decade-long Italy-Ukraine collaboration agreement. Moreover, thanks to Italian diplomatic action, they managed to convince Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to give up the veto on an additional 50 billion euros of EU aid until 2027.

The situation has been reversed. A united Europe against torn apart United States. However, this does not intimidate the Italian prime minister regarding the G7 in Puglia, as she assures: “It will be concrete and substantial to reaffirm the rules-based international order, defending freedom and building peace for Ukraine.” In short, Europe has returned to the center stage, and this is also thanks to Giorgia Meloni, who has been capable of going beyond ideological barriers and working pragmatically for international security. A political paradox due to the geopolitical upheavals of the last two years. However, distances on values and the idea of society that everyone has remain unchanged.

During the face-to-face meeting, they also discussed what is happening in Gaza. Meloni assured full support for the “mediation efforts of the United States.” For Rome, “the humanitarian crisis is the number one priority,” and efforts should be concentrated there. Jordan, the US, and other countries have been carrying out an aerial mission for several days to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and the possibility of a maritime corridor is also being evaluated. In the meantime, no time is being wasted with the Israeli government to ensure that aid trucks are allowed entry.

Meloni also took the opportunity to explain to Biden the “Mattei Plan” being carried out to create new relationships with Africa. “It is not a poor continent; on the contrary, it has important human and natural resources but has been exploited with a predatory approach. I want to reverse this approach together with you,” said the Italian prime minister during the bilateral meeting. Emphasizing how African development helps with complicated issues such as combating terrorism and uncontrolled immigration, which is also a key theme in Biden’s election campaign.