The Italian-Africa Cohesion Path Moves Forward

Politics - March 28, 2024

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has just visited Egypt to strengthen political relationships.

The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni (FdI, ECR), recently visited Cairo for the Summit for Peace. She arrived only on the last days of the meeting due to prior commitments in the Italian capital for the national anniversary of Italian unity on March 17th.

The relationship between Italy and Egypt is quite unique. Giorgia Meloni’s efforts are commendable in terms of promoting dialogue and overcoming the tensions of the last decade. The truth about the unfortunate incident involving Giulio Regeni, an Italian researcher who was kidnapped and killed eight years ago during the fifth anniversary of the protests in Piazza Tahrir, is still being sought. These protests ultimately led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Moreover, the case of Patrick Zaki, a student at the University of Bologna, was also quite complex. He was detained in Egypt for almost two years and sentenced to three years in prison. However, he was granted clemency by President Al-Sisi after a lengthy mediation with Italy.

It is not surprising that the presence of Giorgia Meloni played a crucial role in the bilateral meeting between the European Union and the Middle East. During the meeting, 7 billion euros were allocated for rescue missions in Egypt, which will continue until 2027.

Together with Meloni, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (CDU, PPE), the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo (Open VLD, RE), the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mītsotakīs (ND, PPE), the Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP, PPE) and Cypriot President Nikos Christadoulidis (ex DIKO, PPE).

The primary focus of the memorandum was centered around managing migration. Although Europe had pledged to provide 600 million euros, only 200 million were allocated, as no irregular departures had been reported from Egyptian ports at that time. Nevertheless, this collaboration aimed to improve the monitoring of migratory flows and provide greater support to both origin and transit countries in controlling the movement of people. “We are working towards establishing an international alliance that will combat human traffickers,” concluded the Italian Prime Minister.

The Egyptian Head of State Al-Sisi, at the opening of the summit, underlined the close relations that there are with the presidents Meloni and Mitsotakis and their relevance in maintaining relations with the EU, especially by virtue of their intense projection towards the Mediterranean that still represents a key sea for all international relations.

Additionally, the present time marks a significant moment in Egypt’s history wherein it has emerged as a key player in the international arena. The country’s strategic location between Gaza, Sudan, and Libya, in addition to being a major supplier of energy, has contributed to its active involvement in global affairs.

In particular, the critical situation in Gaza is at the center of the concerns of the heads of State, which underlined the need for humanitarian

corridors both to send concrete aid and for a larger liberation of the hostages, reiterating that peace is to be reached as soon as possible to close one of the many war fronts open simultaneously.

Giorgia Meloni then took advantage of the visit to launch a new collaboration for the Italian territory, stipulating several agreements all attributable to the so-called “Piano Mattei”. Specifically, the areas concerned were cooperation with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Edmondo Cirielli (FDI, ECR), a financial agreement signed by the two counterparties (respectively the italian Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the Governor of the Central Bank Egyptian) and two memoranda in agreement signed by Sace and Orascom Construction, thus relaunching one of the most present Italian structures in the world and capable of guaranteeing investments at a global level for over 160 billion euros.

Also interesting is the promotion of a maritime connection line, entitled “RORO” between Egypt and the port of Signa, suggested by the ITA/ICE agency and the embassy. A further form of connection between Italy and Africa that increasingly accredited Meloni as a leader of reference for a very important continent for the future of the Mediterranean.