Italy’s Meloni says on track to rebuild ‘excellent’ relations with UAE

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MILAN (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Saturday said her meeting with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan had gone well and the two governments would work to rebuild “excellent” ties.

“I think discussions this morning went very, very well and we’re going back to a strategic partnership. Italy historically had very strong relations with UAE which in recent years experienced serious difficulties,” Meloni told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

Italy in 2021 halted the sale of thousands of missiles to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, citing Rome’s commitment to restoring peace in Yemen. The UAE in turn asked Italy to vacate a military base in the Gulf. 

Meloni said the UAE could play a key role in a number of issues that mattered to Italy, such as the stabilisation of Libya, Tunisia’s financial difficulties – which both impact migration flows – as well as Rome’s energy policy in Africa.

“On all these matters Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has expressed his willingness to help,” Meloni said.

“On all these matters Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed has expressed his willingness to help,” Meloni said.

“I think there is a strong will on both sides to rebuild not just good but excellent relations, a friendship, which I think is very important for our national interest.”

During Meloni’s visit Italian state-owned oil and gas company Eni (ENI.MI) signed an energy cooperation accord with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) to reduce new emissions, improve energy security and speed up low-carbon economic and industrial growth.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani also signed a declaration of intent over climate strategy with UAE climate envoy and designated president of the COP28 climate summit Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who last month pledged to lay out an inclusive and innovative roadmap to tackle global warming.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Francesca Landini in Milan, Hatem Maher in Cairo, Angelo Amante in Rome. Editing by Jane Merriman


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