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Algerian President, Italian PM Discuss Energy, ‘Partnership with Africa’

Algerian President, Italian PM Discuss Energy, ‘Partnership with Africa’

Saturday, 21 January, 2023 - 10:00
A picture of the Algerian and Italian presidents in May. (Algerian presidency)

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to hold meetings on Sunday and Monday in Algeria with senior officials to discuss energy and illegal immigration.

Rome wants Algeria to play the “gendarme” role in combating the hundreds of illegal migrants arriving at the Italian shores annually.

The Italian PM talks in Algeria would focus on energy, the electrical industry, SMEs, emerging companies, and education.

Algerian political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the top issues on the agenda are illegal immigration and the growing Italian need for Algerian gas to substitute Russian gas.

Algeria became the main gas supplier to Italy after the war erupted in Ukraine.

Meloni would meet Algerian Prime Minister Ayman bin Abdel Rahma and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Local media sources reported that the visit will also witness the signing of several agreements that include SMEs. Further consultations would be made considering the launch of cars' manufacturing in Algeria – a sector that is suffering from severe shortages.

Algeria stopped the import of cars four years ago, which caused an accumulation in local demand and a record hike in used cars' prices.

In another context, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani and Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi visited Tunisia on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in combating human trafficking.

Observers expect Algeria to be a key partner to Italy as part of a plan announced by Meloni in October to strengthen ties with Africa.

Meloni accused the French of unfairly exploiting Africa’s natural resources and raw materials, which spurred the migration of Africans to Europe.

“The solution is not to transfer Africans to Europe but to liberate Africa from some Europeans,” according to Meloni.

In a harsh statement addressing French President Emmanuel Macron, she said: “don’t come to teach us lessons, Macron, the Africans are abandoning their country because of you.”

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