Italian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Luca Ferrari said that his country was maintaining extensive cooperation with Riyadh in the field of military industries, especially in the field of helicopter manufacturing, cybersecurity and cyber warfare.
He added that negotiations were underway to cooperate in the nationalization of military industries with the Saudi Company for Military Industries, for the manufacture of frigates and radars.
In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ferrari said: “We will work with the Saudi Military Industries to build a local military industry, not just to sell products.”
He pointed out that Italy ranked third - after the United States and Britain – among countries having the highest level of cooperation with Saudi Arabia. He noted that his country’s goal was to expand this cooperation, in light of the Kingdom’s determination to nationalize military industries and technologies.
The Italian ambassador was speaking while aboard the Italian frigate Carlo Margottini, which docked at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam to perform security duties against pirates in the Gulf of Aden from April to August.
He said the arrival of the Italian frigates, FREMM and Carlo Margotini, to the port of Dammam, east of Saudi Arabia, was a very positive sign of Italian efforts to strengthen ties with the Kingdom in the defense field.
The Italian frigate arrived at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam on Sunday, coming from Kuwait. It will depart on Thursday to Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari emphasized Italy’s extensive cooperation with Saudi Arabia in various fields, including electricity and contracting, as well as cooperation with Saudi Aramco.
He also revealed that agreements for cooperation were currently underway between Italy’s shipbuilding company Fincantieri and Saudi Military Industries Company.