A significant move. On Monday, the Italian government lifted the ban on arms sales to the United Arab Emirates which had been imposed in 2019 in response to the UAE’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen, considered by the United Nations to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
- The Meloni government cited the cessation of Emirati military engagement in Yemen, and the promise of a peace agreement, as well as funds allocated for the stabilization and reconstruction of the country, as reasons for the lifting of the ban.
- The arms export agreements to the UAE had been partially suspended by the First Conte government in 2019, only to be revoked in January 2021, under the Second Conte government. In July 2021, under Mario Draghi’s government, the ban on arms exports to the UAE had been softened for light weapons but not for heavier armaments such as missiles and bombs.
Trips to Abu Dhabi. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Defence Minister Crosetto’s recent visits to the UAE have indicated that the two countries are keen to relaunch defense and security cooperation, a move that is confirmed by the lifting of the ban.
- The lifting This marks a significant shift in the relationship between Italy and the UAE, which had been fraught with difficulties early in 2021.