The working and friendship visit to Algeria on Sunday and Monday of the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Georgia Meloni, is another opportunity to strengthen the Alger-Rome cooperation axis, as well as a further step in the consolidation of the building of a real strategic partnership between the two countries.
Reflecting the strength of the “historic” relations between Algeria and Italy, as well as the common will to further develop bilateral cooperation, the visit is indeed the first visit of Mrs. Meloni abroad since her accession to the head of the Italian executive last October, and the third visit of an Italian Prime Minister to Algeria in a year.
The previous President, Mario Draghi, visited Algeria in April and again in July 2022.
This new dynamic in Algerian-Italian relations comes after the State visit to Italy by the President of the Republic, Mr Abdelmadjid Tebboune, in May 2022, as well as the State visit to Algeria by the Italian President, Mr Sergio Matarella, in November 2021, which were marked by a “total convergence” on issues of common interest, as well as a determination to develop “strategic” bilateral cooperation between the two “friendly” countries.
These high-level visits, topped off by the signing of a large number of cooperation agreements in various fields, had enabled the deepening of the strategic partnership between the two countries, at both the political and economic levels, in accordance with the guidelines of the two presidents who, during their meetings, had insisted on the imperative of strengthening the Algiers-Rome axis of cooperation.
It is in this perspective that the head of the Italian government is visiting Algeria on a visit that should allow the examination of several issues of common interest, to further consolidate the path of building a true strategic partnership wanted by the two heads of state.
Moreover, this path was marked, in 2022, by the signature, last mid-October in Algiers, of a framework agreement between the Ministry of Industry and the Italian car manufacturing group FIAT, a subsidiary of the Stellantis group, for the implementation of a project for the production of tourist vehicles and utility vehicles in Oran (west of Algiers).
This agreement enshrined the exceptional relationship between Algeria and Italy, as well as the strong economic ties between the two countries, through the realisation of a flagship project of bilateral cooperation.
In the energy field, another major axis of bilateral cooperation, notably the supply of gas to Italy, Algeria, considered as a “central partner” by the Italian side, has undertaken to increase its gas supplies to more than 25 billion m3 by the end of 2022.
2022 was also marked by the holding, in July in Algiers, of the 4th Algerian-Italian Intergovernmental Summit, co-chaired by the President of the Republic, Mr Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and the former President of the Italian Council of Ministers, Mario Draghi, and led to the signing of the Joint Declaration and 15 memorandums of understanding and cooperation agreements in a number of fields.
In parallel to the Summit, an Algerian-Italian Business Forum, co-chaired by Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane and Mr Draghi, was also held, with the participation of more than 500 businessmen from both countries, to examine cooperation and partnership opportunities between the two parties.
Algeria and Italy, two Mediterranean countries, are working to intensify their bilateral cooperation, but also regional, given their geographical proximity, making it essential for them to come closer together for consultation on various issues of common interest, ranging from energy to economic partnership, through political relations and security issues.