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(Nova News) Cirielli to Nova: We want to be the first Western country to sign a cooperation agreement with Eritrea

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 19 April 2024

Cirielli to Nova: We want to be the first Western country to sign a cooperation agreement with Eritrea

The news of an Italian interest in entering into a cooperation agreement with Asmara was also confirmed in March by the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto

Italy aspires to become "the first Western country to sign a cooperation agreement with Eritrea". The deputy foreign minister said so Edmondo Cirielli to “Agenzia Nova”. “My secret dream”, said Cirielli, is to ensure that Italy is “the first Western country to conclude at least a two-year cooperation agreement with Eritrea, a country experiencing a phase of international isolation”. “There was a meeting between the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the president of Eritrea Isaiah Afwerki last January as part of his visit to Rome for the Italy-Africa Summit,” Cirielli recalled. “We are working on this agreement which would have great innovation and a very important result,” concluded the deputy minister.
As part of the summit held in Rome on January 29, Eritrean President Afwerki and his delegation met and held talks with several senior officials of the Italian government, including the Prime Minister Meloni, focusing on bilateral ties and mutual cooperation, especially in the sectors of road, rail and port infrastructure, agriculture, innovation, fisheries, mining and energy. As witnessed on social media by the Eritrean government, after the summit Afwerki he stayed in Italy for 12 days, visiting together with his delegation - which included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Osman Saleh, and the Commissioner for Culture and Sports, Zemede Tekle - production plants and research centers in various regions, engaging in discussions with representatives of these institutions to strengthen investment and cooperation.
On February 4th and 5th, Afwerki and his delegation were in cities in Umbria and in Norcia, in the Perugia area, where they visited the sites of the Grifo dairy group and L'Artigiano dei Salumi Salvatori, specialized in the processing of pork meat. The Eritrean delegation was therefore interested in Italian agro-industrial production techniques and conservation systems and visited the Umbria agri-food technological park, where talks took place between the president, delegates and experts of the institution on possible cooperation . Finally, the delegation was interested in the ceramic industry, of which it visited a production site, before paying a visit to the Basilica of Assisi.
The news of an Italian interest in entering into a cooperation agreement with Asmara was also confirmed in March by the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, during the hearing in the Chamber of the joint foreign and defense commissions on the examination of the analytical report on ongoing international missions and on the state of development cooperation interventions in support of peace and stabilization processes. Italy "watches with interest" Eritrea, with which it is evaluating a cooperation proposal from the president Isaiah Afwerki, Crosetto said, observing that Afwerki “has shown signs of interesting openings to structured cooperation”.

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