01/20/2024 7:59 pm (current 01/20/2024 7:59 pm)
Prime Minister of Italy visits Istanbul ©APA/TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni traveled to Turkey on Saturday to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is Meloni's first international mission since Italy assumed the G-7 presidency earlier this year. The topic of strengthening cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration was discussed during the negotiations, according to Italian government circles.
Cooperation between the two countries led to a 56 percent decrease in irregular migration flows along the Italy-Turkey corridor last year, Rome said. It was said that cooperation should also become increasingly close with regard to the stabilization of Libya, with which the respective foreign ministries intend to conclude an agreement soon.
The meeting also discussed the issue of security and development in the Mediterranean region, with special attention to the African continent. Meloni is planning an Italy-Africa summit in Rome as part of Italy's G-7 presidency. The issue of the war between Israel and Hamas and the conflict in Ukraine were also discussed, according to Italian government sources.
Meloni thanked Erdogan for Ankara's diplomatic mediation efforts to clear grain shipments from Ukrainian ports after Russia failed to renew the deal in July. The two leaders also discussed strengthening bilateral economic ties and the Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) meeting later this year.
Italy will assume the presidency of the G-7, the group of seven main industrialized nations, at the beginning of 2024. Prime Minister Meloni, who has been in office since October 2022, wants to take advantage of this to stand out in foreign policy. Attention must, therefore, be placed on the topic of migration. The G-7 heads of state and government are scheduled to meet June 13-15 in Apulia, southern Italy – a region that has always been considered a bridge between West and East.