Italy and Egypt: terrorism, economy and immigration

(In collaboration with Termometro Politico)

The Italian trip of the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was received by the Italian President of the Council of Ministers, Matteo Renzi, is finished. The Prime Minister of Italy decided to talk directly about the issue of “terrorism”, which seems to be a real threat at the international level, especially in the Mediterranean basin. In particular, Renzi pointed out that a collaboration among all the European countries – as members of a single entity that is the European Union – is absolutely necessary, in order to defend the Mediterranean basin from possible terror raids.

Egypt and Italy against terrorism

The young Prime Minister of Italy received el-Sisi on 23 November 2014 at Palazzo Madama, in Rome, and expressed his solidarity about the recent terror attacks occurring in Egypt over the last few weeks. Renzi showed his will to work in partnership with the North African State in order to contain the increasing terrorist phenomena in the Mediterranean area. Italy and Egypt will collaborate to guarantee the safety of the whole area especially in light of the recent events that happened in Libya and, for this reason, it will be necessary to act by increasing both the coast safety and the collaboration at all levels. The two leaders decided to restore annual summits of the two governments: measures like these will also be useful for stopping illegal immigration.

Italian businessmen in Egypt

Finally, Renzi announced to visit Egypt in February, in which he will be support by a team of experienced businessmen led by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda.

The situation in Egypt

The current political situation in Egypt is in the process of settlement. However, current administration of Sinai does not seem different from Hosni Mubarak’s government. Since 2004, the area has been a fertile ground for terrorist attacks and, after the Arab Spring, the local Islamist groups have had the opportunity to work undisturbed by taking advantage of the “absent” policy applied to the area, which has always been known as the most dangerous in Egypt. The current policy of el-Sisi does not allow to make encouraging predictions for the near future. Nevertheless, the Egyptian President has received support from different leaders, among whom the President of the United States, who wants to support Egypt in its battle against terrorism.

The strategic position of Egypt

Regaining control over the Sinai Peninsula is a strategic maneuver that may have several economic benefits, as well as containing damaging effects of terrorism. On the other hand, Egypt enjoys a strategic geographical position which, aiming at the international economic framework, is definitely an extra valuable resource for those countries, including Italy, that started relations with Egypt or want to do it in the near future.

Lucia Vasta

Master’s Degree in Languages and Economic and Legal Institutions of Asia and North Africa (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

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