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President Meloni’s press statement following the meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg

Friday, 11 November 2022

I wish to thank Secretary General Stoltenberg for this meeting, and for participating in the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference being held this year in Rome, co-hosted by Italy and the United States. This involvement confirms Italy’s commitment to NATO and regarding the common challenges that the Alliance is facing at this particularly delicate time. Both the transatlantic and European dimensions of our foreign policy are fundamental for our security.

The Alliance is indispensable for the security and prosperity of our nations. Without security, there is and can be no growth for our societies and, together, we must defend the common values that characterise our western identity. This is what we are committed to doing. We live in a context where peace must not be taken for granted; it is something we have to work for and that requires us to be prepared to defend ourselves effectively.

As I have already done on several occasions, I made it clear to Secretary General Stoltenberg that Italy strongly supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and freedom. Our political cohesion and firm commitment to supporting Ukraine are the best response that NATO allies can give in terms of determination to remain united, to defend Euro-Atlantic security. I believe that Italy has amply demonstrated its very clear position in this regard.

The strategic NATO-EU partnership is essential for Euro-Atlantic security. Based on joint action, we should aim to deepen and expand cooperation between the two organisations, also on the issue of defence. In the same way, I believe it is a priority to work on strengthening the Alliance as a whole, with a strong European pillar and with the objective of making it stronger and able to respond to the threats coming from different directions. It is important to have a comprehensive approach that also takes into account the challenges stemming from the southern flank. NATO remains a regional Alliance, but we must have a global approach. It is crucial to maintain the technological supremacy that, for centuries, has allowed the West, and therefore also NATO, to play a leading role.

Italy is one of the major contributors to allied operations and missions. We are currently in command of the two major missions NMI (in Iraq) and KFOR (in Kosovo, where the situation, which we are monitoring, is delicate). This is in addition to the important role we have taken on along the eastern flank as an immediate response to the Russian aggression; also for this, our thanks go to our Armed Forces involved in these missions, for the credibility they give to our nation also within the Alliance.

I wish to once again thank Secretary General Stoltenberg for being here. I confirm Italy’s willingness to play a leading role. We are a dependable and loyal nation; we have demonstrated this until now and we will continue to demonstrate this. 

Lastly, I wish to thank Undersecretary Mantovano and the Foreign Minister for their efforts to bring Alessia Piperno back to Italy.

[Courtesy translation]