(ANSA) – ROME, by Paolo Cappelleri – The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, concluded his toast to the Heads of State and Government and the other dignitaries invited to the Italy-Africa Summit, quoting an African proverb “of great wisdom”. , Giorgia Meloni's desired reason to launch the Mattei plan.
“If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to go far, go together,” he said, wishing for a “common path” to “prosperity and peace in Africa, Europe and the world.”
“It is cooperation that drives progress,” he emphasized, and in view of the ongoing crises, there is a common “task” to “explore the extraordinary potential for the development of relations” between the two continents “in the political sphere.” “to eliminate the sources of tension and conflict in the economic sphere, to achieve sustainable production and a fair distribution of resources, and to strengthen the heritage of our respective cultures.”
After the evening at the Quirinal, the Senate chamber will be a showcase of the strategy the Prime Minister has been working on since her inauguration.
A “political framework” to strengthen cooperation with Africa in a “non-predatory” way, which for a few weeks the government also has, with a control room that will meet for the first time in February to work on the first projects .
For the opposition it is simply “an empty box”, but Palazzo Chigi and Farnesina are confident that the approach will produce positive results from a geopolitical and energy perspective.
“The benefits for Italy are countless,” Meloni is certain: “Everything that happens in Africa affects us, from migration to security to supply chains.”
As in Tunisia, in Lampedusa and sometimes in the places of the floods that hit Emilia Romagna, at this event of great political and symbolic importance stands alongside Prime Minister Ursula von der Leyen (who announces “a new era of cooperation”) . with the African Development Bank).
It is the sign of an increasingly solid axis between the President of the European Commission and Meloni, who have developed a certain feeling, particularly on dossiers related to immigration and cooperation with African countries.
Managers from other EU institutions also take part.
And this “shows how important it is to include the Mattei plan in a European strategy,” emphasized Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. Shortly afterwards, clear support came from Brussels.
The Commission, a spokesman said, “welcomes” the Mattei plan and believes that “it fits well with the common vision for 2030 to which the EU and African Union leaders have committed” and “to Global Gateway Investment Plan in Africa”. , about half of the global allocation of 300 billion euros.
“We have identified key topics and pilot countries in which we will start the first projects,” explained Meloni.
Rome looks primarily at the largest and most populous countries on the continent and inevitably also at the most influential.
The first ones could appear at the summit. There is already talk of Algeria, Egypt (with which the EU is also seeking a memorandum) and Morocco.
“What we did in Tunisia must be repeated in other countries and we are working on it,” Meloni said, ready to meet again with President Kais Saied.
Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibeh, Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity, is expected to leave Libya and it is not excluded that Meloni will talk about agreements to stem migration flows, an issue on which the Prime Minister received valuable support from Recep a week ago. Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, who plays a particularly active role in the North African country.
Among the more than 40 participants is not Nigeria, the largest state in Africa, an important player especially in the western zone, plagued by the chaos in Niger, where “the replacement of the alliance with France by others” causes “concern”. is based on the viewpoint of “geopolitical stability,” as Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi explained.
Another hot front is the Red Sea. “There is a risk of consequences” for the economy “if we do not defend freedom of navigation,” explained Meloni: “15% of world trade passes through the Suez Canal, in the best case scenario the blockage of these merchant ships means an increase.” We can do not allow the cost of the products entering our market. Together with the EU, we are promoting a defense mission to ensure freedom of navigation.”
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