Home » Italy calls for NATO formal commitment to the southern flank

Italy calls for NATO formal commitment to the southern flank

Defence Minister Crosetto has urged allies to establish a dedicated body to address security challenges in the Mediterranean region at the upcoming summit in July. Emphasising both economic and security concerns, Italy aims to be a key partner in the development of Africa

Nothing new on the southern front? Italy urges its allies to formally commit to the Southern Flank by establishing an ad hoc body less than a month before the 75th NATO Summit in Washington D.C., United States.

  • During the Defence Ministerial meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Italian Minister Guido Crosetto urged the alliance to focus on the Southern Front, specifically the Mediterranean region.
  • As tensions in the Mediterranean continue to rise, this area has become a potential source of conflict between powers. Minister Crosetto emphasised that it is crucial to take action now to prevent these issues from becoming more serious.

Security and economic development. Italy’s strategic focus on its southern flank extends beyond immediate security concerns, such as the threat posed by Russian naval forces and managing migration routes. It also encompasses a broader security strategy for Europe and the Western Alliance, which includes protecting vital infrastructure such as undersea cables, energy pipelines, and global trade flows.

  • Furthermore, a stronger and more unified NATO engagement with Mediterranean countries would strengthen Italy’s commitment to economic development and cooperation in the region, as demonstrated in the Mattei Plan.
  • This plan highlights Italy’s aspiration to be the leading partner in promoting growth and stability in Africa, a role emphasised not only through bilateral initiatives but also through its advocacy of African development during its presidency of the G7.

US-Italian alliance. On the sidelines of the meeting, Defence Minister Crosetto held a bilateral meeting with U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. The two exchanged views on current issues and strengthen coordination.  

  • “Italy and the United States share the same values and historical ties. We must work together to face global challenges,” he said at the end of the meeting. 

Italy’s commitment to the East. Minister Crosetto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding as part of the Armoured Capability Coalition for Ukraine initiative. This agreement aims to strengthen the defence and protection of the population and critical infrastructure by improving the operational capabilities of the Ukrainian Armoured Forces in the field.

  • Meeting his Polish counterpart Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, Minister Crosetto expressed a strong interest in enhancing military cooperation and promoting defence industry collaboration, specifically supporting Ukraine’s integration efforts with the European Union.

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