Long-time allies Italy and the US want to strengthen their “excellent” ties and cooperate more closely on international issues amid America’s new multilateralism, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said Wednesday.
Di Maio’s meeting with US secretary of state Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the NATO ministerial in Brussels last week provided an opportunity to reaffirm Italy’s “privileged’ relationship with the US”, Di Maio told Italy’s Senate.
“It is a very old friendship (this year we mark its 160th anniversary) and is based on the shared values of democracy and freedom, on the solid transatlantic link, shared principles and interests,” Di Maio stated.
Italy and the US have been engaged for decades in a joint quest for stability in the wider Mediterranean region, in war-ravaged Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, Di Maio underlined.
“And we are committed to further strengthening our bilateral ties and coordinating on international issues,” he said.
“Excellent harmony” exists between Di Maio and Blinken “which reflects the cooperative approach of (US president Joe) Biden’s administration,” the minister said.
“This approach is especially apparent towards US’s traditional allies, Europe and NATO,” Di Maio stated.
“The return of the Americans to the Paris Accords and in the (United Nations) Human Rights Council (currently as observers), its continuing membership of the World Health Organisation and the suspension of the Airbus/Boeing duties marks new US attention towards multilateralism.”
The EU and the European Union’s agreed in early March to suspend retaliatory tariffs on rival planemakers Airbus and Boeing.
“We have an opportunity to strengthen collaboration on key issues, among them the Mediterranean, terrorism, security, defence, human rights, trade and investment and cultural and scientific cooperation,” Di Maio added.
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