Antonio Tajani is in Israel. The Italian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister landed in Tel Aviv on Sunday, just two days after Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu met with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni in Rome and pushed for a “quantum leap” in relations.
- FM Tajani was welcomed by Israeli President Werner Herzog, with both noting the friendship and excellent relations existing between Israel and Italy, and PM Netanyahu, with whom he touched upon bilateral energy and technology relations, migration management, and the defence of Ukraine.
- Having visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Italian head of diplomacy is expected in Ramallah, home of the Palestinian Authority. He’ll then make his way to Egypt.
Industry, science, technology, innovation. Those, tweeted FM Tajani, are the sectors “where we are strengthening strategic cooperation with Israel” by means of increasing investments and focussing on startups, “trusting young people to create jobs.”
- “The partnership between Leonardo and the Israeli centres is proof of this,” he added, referring to the recent partnership deal between the Italian defence giant and the Israeli Innovation Authority and the Technology Transfer Office of the Tel Aviv University.
- He spoke from the Tel Aviv roadshow presentation of the second international call of Leonardo’s Business Innovation Factory (BIF) startup accelerator – which aims to attract a selection of entities with high innovation potential – alongside Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Ofir Akunis.
Strategic partnership. Ties between Italy and Israel have been strengthening over the past months through continuous diplomatic dialogue. An agreement on the recognition of driving licences and one on strategic cooperation between FMs, signed by Mr Tajani and his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, confirmed the countries’ willingness to engage ever more closely.
- Italian Senate President Ignazio La Russa also visited Israel recently, and Deputy PM and Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini had a “very cordial” phone call with PM Netanyahu, as did Forza Italia’s Silvio Berlusconi.
- The visit came at a time of increased international projection on Rome’s part, especially in the MENA area and the Indo-Pacific – operating on the assumption that the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and Southeastern Asia are intrinsically linked.
Meanwhile, Italian President Sergio Mattarella is headed to Kenya for his fifth mission in sub-Saharan Africa. He’ll meet with his counterpart William Ruto and visit the “Luigi Broglio” Space Centre as well as the University of Nairobi.