Today (10 November 2022), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the newly elected Italian Prime Minister, Ms. Giorgia Meloni, in Rome. The Secretary General welcomed Prime Minister Meloni’s “strong, personal commitment to NATO, to our transatlantic Alliance between North America and Europe” and said that ”it is important that we work closely together, especially at this crucial moment for our security.”
Mr. Stoltenberg pointed out that Italy – as “one of the founding members of our Alliance” – plays “a key role in NATO.” “Italy stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other Allies to keep the peace in Europe, and to support Ukraine, for as long as it takes; Italy leads NATO’s new multinational battlegroup in Bulgaria and your troops serve with NATO forces in Latvia; Italian jets keep the skies safe with NATO Air Policing, from the Black Sea to the High North; your ships are part of NATO’s patrols in the Mediterranean and beyond; you provide the commander of our KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, building stability in the Western Balkans; and an Italian commander also leads NATO’s training mission in Iraq, helping Iraqi forces counter terrorism; Italy also hosts many important NATO facilities, including Joint Force Command Naples and our Alliance Ground Surveillance Force in Sigonella,” he said.
The Secretary General and the Prime Minister discussed support for Ukraine and challenges from the south. “NATO is vigilant, with our Sea Guardian operation regularly patrolling the Mediterranean, a mission to help counter illegal migration in the Aegean, and capacity-building for our partners in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted.
During his visit, the NATO Secretary General also met with the Italian Minister of Defence, Mr. Guido Crosetto, and spoke at NATO’s 2022 Cyber Defence Pledge conference.