Lithuanian and Italian Foreign Ministers emphasize strengthening security and defence cooperation
On 5 July, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas met with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Enzo Moavero Milanesi, who was visiting Lithuania and discussed security, migration, and the strengthening of bilateral co-operation.
"For Lithuania and Italy, NATO is the main pillar of security. Both countries share a commitment to transatlantic security. Italy is working to ensure security of NATO's Southern flank, but it also contributes to addressing the threats posed by the Baltic states. Italian troops are stationed in the multinational NATO battalion in Latvia and Italian fighters participated several times in NATO's air policing mission in the Baltic states. Lithuania also helps Italy to address threats from the Southern flank. Our country joins the activities of NATO's Strategic Direction South Hub in Naples. Lithuanian officers also serve at the Italian-led training centre in Afghanistan," said Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister.
According to Minister Linkevičius, the Lithuanian and Italian Special Operations Forces successfully co-operated in 1999-2001, when bilateral Lithuanian and Italian exercises took place, in which about 600-800 officers of an elite mountain warfare military corps of the Italian Army - the Alpini (Alpine Troops) - participated annually. Lithuania and Italy can also enjoy their successful bilateral co-operation in the areas of business, science, and culture. Italy is the 8th largest trading partner of Lithuania. Lithuania is successfully exporting food to Italy. In addition, there is also a lot of untapped potential for cooperation in the areas of information technology and life sciences.
The meeting also discussed migration issues, which were extremely serious for Italy. As regards this country, Lithuania remains committed to addressing the migration challenge and, together with Italy, dedicates special attention to the protection of the EU's external borders.
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Enzo Moavero Milanesi was visiting Lithuania as part of the delegation led by the Italian President Sergio Mattarella on 5-6 July.