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Giorgia Meloni's Foreign Policy and the Mattei Plan for [Italy in] Africa
Meloni's posture in Algeria seeks to demonstrate her willingness to move beyond a mere set of energy memorandums and broaden Italy's foreign policy to include strategic diplomacy with long-term goals. She described Algeria as Italy's "most stable, strategic and long-standing" partner in North Africa,[2] and reassured President Tebboune that Italy stands by Algeria. The country has recently felt cornered following Morocco's joining of the Abraham Accords, a feeling few other countries aside from Italy had the courage to assuage and which had pushed Algeria further towards Russia and China as a result.
btw, Algeria announced this weekend, management disapproves of ECOWAS military intervention
Meloni's activism in North Africa did not end there. The prime minister and her cabinet promoted high-level missions and diplomatic efforts with Libyan government officials, allowing Italy to reap diplomatic wins in the energy field. In January, a few weeks after visiting Algeria, Meloni flew to Tripoli for a meeting with Libya's UN-backed Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh. The visit led to the signing of an 8 billion US dollars gas deal between Italian energy company Eni and Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC).[3]

Then, in May, Meloni hosted Benghazi militia leader Khalifa Haftar in Rome to discuss the surge in migration;[4] and the following month, she met Dbeibeh to discuss the economy as well as energy and infrastructure projects, stressing the importance of Libyan stability for Italian interests. By discussing political and economic priorities with both Libyan leaders, Meloni seemingly went beyond the transactional approach that Italy (and Europe more broadly) has long adopted vis-à-vis North Africa promoting a more comprehensive framework which seemingly seeks to embrace the region's own priorities as well.
Whether Giorgia Meloni's Mattei Plan truly seeks to help alleviate poverty and exploitation in Africa through comprehensive and holistic approaches remains to be seen, and Tunisia might hold the keys to this verdict.

Indeed, the real litmus test for Meloni's Mattei Plan for Africa is the developing situation in Tunisia, once considered the only successful case of democracy emanated from the so-called Arab Spring. Post-revolution elites in Tunisia did not operate successfully in managing the economy or the social development of the country and actually brought it to the verge of collapse by the end of 2018. The delegitimisation of the political class became evident in the 2021 presidential elections, when the vast majority voted for the outsider and relatively unknown constitutional law professor, Kais Saied, and his programme of state renewal and anticorruption.

Enrico Mattei, "activist investor"
by Cat on Mon Aug 7th, 2023 at 12:24:00 AM EST
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