Italy ready to foster cooperation with Egypt in energy, human rights, religious freedom: New PM

Ahram Online , Sunday 2 Oct 2022

Italy is ready to enhance bilateral cooperation with Egypt in energy security, Mediterranean and Middle East stability, human rights, and religious freedom, new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stressed on Sunday.



Meloni thanked President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in a reply to a message posted by the Egyptian presidency on Twitter yesterday in which El-Sisi congratulated the country's first-ever woman prime minister on her party's victory in the general elections last week.

The Brothers of Italy Party will lead a right, centre-right coalition government with the League and Forza Italia parties after winning first place in the snap elections last Sunday with 26 percent of the vote.

“I look forward to working with [Meloni] within the framework of the solid partnership between Egypt and Italy to push our bilateral relations to broader horizons in all fields, in line with the deep-rooted history and civilisations of the two countries and for the benefit of their two peoples and humanity,” El-Sisi said.

Egypt and Italy enjoy strong relationships on the political and economic levels. Italy is one of Egypt's largest trade partners in the European Union.

In 2021, the trade volume between the two countries rose by 29 percent to reach $5.8 billion, up from $4.5 billion in the previous year.

Egypt’s exports to Italy rose by 91.4 percent in 2021, bringing in nearly $2.8 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2020.

Italian investments in Egypt also rose by 40.3 percent from $320 million during the last quarter of FY 2020/2021 to reach $448.8 million during the first quarter of FY 2021/2022.

The two countries are also members of the Cairo-based East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which was formed in 2019 to establish a regional gas market in the Eastern Mediterranean and enhance trade relations between eight member states.

In 2015, the Italian energy giant Eni helped Egypt discover the Zohr natural gas field in its Mediterranean waters, catapulting the country to becoming a major producer of the alternative energy source.

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