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Italy’s G7 invitation highlights UAE’s growing international role

Ambassador Fanara reveals the critical nature of the “excellent” relationship between Italy and the United Arab Emirates, emphasizing their global cooperation on humanitarian and development efforts

Bilateral relations. The bilateral relations between Italy and the United Arab Emirates are “excellent”, states Lorenzo Fanara, the ambassador of Italy to the United Arab Emirates, in a recent interview with our sister website Formiche.net. This observation was solidified by the presentation of the “Excellence Award” on behalf of the Emirati Foreign Ministry to the Italian embassy in Abu Dhabi. 

  • This assessment is underscored by Italy’s invitation to President Mohammed bin Zayed to attend the G7 leaders’ summit next week, which he accepted.
  • The relationship quality is also evident in the political sector, with 18 visits made by Italian government representatives in 18 months. 
  • There is also a strong demand for Italian culture, as shown by the arrival of the Teatro alla Scala orchestra to the UAE for the first time last December and a sold-out Puccini Festival in Abu Dhabi soon after.

Humanitarian efforts. First and foremost, the ambassador says that Italy and the UAE have been working intensively for months to provide humanitarian responses to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Another area of close cooperation is Africa.

  • Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani launched the “Food for Gaza” initiative, and the Emiratis have been equally active, sending substantial aid to the Strip.
  • They have also collaborated in the healthcare sector by sending Italian medical teams to Abu Dhabi, where they performed delicate surgeries on Gaza evacuees.
  • In terms of Africa, Mohammed bin Zayed participated in the conference on migration and development held at the Farnesina last summer, which launched the “Rome Process.” During the event, the UAE pledged to contribute $100 million.

G7 confirmation. The invitation and subsequent acceptance of Emirati presence at the G7 summit demonstrates the great awareness in Italy that Abu Dhabi can play a significant role in solving various international crises.

  • From climate change to the increasingly central issue of artificial intelligence, the UAE is at the forefront of new global challenges. 
  • Whether they host COP28 or the recent agreement between Emirati company G42 and Microsoft, the two countries will undoubtedly discuss these critical issues at the talks in Borgo Egnazia.

Strategic vision. Ambassador Fanara attributes the UAE’s growing international standing primarily to the evolving vision of the Emirati leadership, which aims to make the country a bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  • The UAE recognizes the importance of investing in connectivity, whether the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) or the railway project with Iraq, Turkey, and Qatar to connect the Gulf to Europe by rail.
  • There is an equal focus on the capabilities of ports and airports, with companies like Abu Dhabi Ports and DP World making significant investments in African ports. The new futuristic Abu Dhabi airport, directed by Italian Elena Sorlini, has also been recently inaugurated. 
  • The UAE has fostered an investment-friendly climate, attracting significant foreign capital and positioning itself as a new financial and commercial hub.

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