ROME, Oct 25 (KUNA) -- The first Italy-Africa conference was held in Rome on Thursday to discuss the prospects of European-African relations arising from terrorism, migration and economic issues.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella opened the Ministerial Conference, supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the delegations of 54 African countries, as well as 13 international and regional organizations, including the African Union (AU).
In his speech, Mattarella stressed the importance of relations with the African continent for his country's foreign policy, politically, culturally and economically.
According to Africa News, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Enzo Milanesi was quoted as saying this event "represents the biggest opportunity for a structured dialogue between Italy and African States, which are witnessing very steep population and economic growth. It is particularly a significant opportunity that highlights Italy's commitment and the excellent response received." President Mattarella referred to the mechanisms of environmental, climatic and conflict crises, which are affecting the African continent, from the displacement of people to unending humanitarian disasters, adding that Italy is aware of the migration phenomenon.
Milanesi stressed the strength of the relationship between Italy and Africa, which faces many challenges that "on our part, we are strongly determined to tackle the issues and opportunities offered by our traditional age-old friendship and evident geopolitical ties in tackling these issues and opportunities in a relationship genuinely based on cooperation and a fruitful mutual exchange." In this regard, Milanesi told the African delegations that Italy would like to be on their good side, that "The Rome event represents a significant indicator of the common wish, on the part of Africa and of Italy, to be leading players on the dynamic contemporary scenarios in a growingly competitive globalised world." (end) mn.lr