Italy and Israel intend to increase cooperation in economics, cyber technology, security, defense and the environment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stressed in a joint statement given to the press on Friday afternoon.
“We have known each other a long time, we have exchanged opinions on a number of issues,” said the two leaders. “Our countries have an excellent relationship.”
Meloni continued, adding: “We want to increase cooperation between our countries. The economy, cyber technology, security, defense, culture, the water crisis – all of this came up in our conversation.
“We discussed the situation in the region, the normalization of relations between Israel and other countries in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing a good and important job.”
The two leaders discussed the increased terrorism that Israel has experienced in recent weeks, with Meloni saying that “Italy will make every effort to restore security and calm to Israel and the region.”
She also addressed the issue of antisemitism, saying: “Our government does not accept antisemitism and fights against this phenomenon. There is a friendship between Israel and Italy, as well as a pragmatic relationship, which we will continue to promote.”
Netanyahu also addressed the relations shared by the two countries, saying that “the friendly relationships are longstanding and I was very impressed by the opportunity to have an open and in-depth conversation.
"Italy will make every effort to restore security and calm to Israel and the region."Giorgia Meloni
“We talked about promoting the relationship between our countries and we have wonderful options with which to do so.”
Concluding, he invited Meloni to visit Israel, and thanked her for "the friendship and hospitality which we have received."
Earlier in the day Italian Industry Minister Adolfo Urso told Netanyahu that Italy needs to become Europe’s gas leader, during a discussion on Israeli-Italian energy cooperation.
Urso noted that Italy is a major industrial power, the largest in the Mediterranean region and second only to Germany in all of Europe.
Now, faced with a growing energy challenge, Italy can step up and become the gas leader in Europe.
Urso further noted energy cooperation with Italy, explaining that it could be built on the common values between the two countries.
“Today, we are aware that we must work together to respond to global challenges,” the minister said.
“We can do more together – in cyber, space, artificial intelligence and also water management. Israel’s experience can help us fight climate change.”