No sustainable solution in Eastern Med without Turkey'
Speaking to a group of reporters from the Diplomatic Correspondents Association (DMD) of Turkey in a virtual meeting, ambassador Massimo Gaiani addressed Turkish-Italian relations, regional and international matters.
Ambassador Gaiani underlined Turkey's significance in the Eastern Mediterranean region and said, "We strongly believe Turkey is part of this area. It has the longest coastline."
Asked about the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), Gaiani said that Italy has "always conceived this forum as a way to improve cooperation among the countries that are interested in developing energy resources in the Mediterranean."
"We believe that this forum should be as inclusive as possible. And it is quite clear that it has to act with a positive spirit and not with the negative spirits. We made that very clearly, to all our partners," he added.
The EMGF is an international organization founded by Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Israel and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC).
Telling that "there are important resources in the eastern Mediterranean from the point of view of energy," Gaiani said, "We hope that these resources will be an element to solve problems to bring countries together."
He noted the significance of Turkey's presence in the region. He stressed that "there is no sustainable solution in that area without fair participation by Turkey. I think that this is very evident."
"If these problems are not solved, the risk is that the gas would stay under the sea where it is and that everyone will lose. That's why we always plea for more dialogue, more cooperation," he added.
Gaiani welcomed the development between Turkey and Egypt and said: "These countries are both very important partners in the Mediterranean, and they are relevant actors in the area."
"We hope that this positive trend will continue with the contribution by all parties involved," he added.
Responding to a question regarding Libya's new unity government and Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh being proposed to the country's House of Representatives on March 10, the Italian ambassador welcomed the development.
"It shows that a Libyan-owned process has brought a political solution to the crisis. And I'm sure that all the countries involved in Libya will now try to contribute to this positive evolution," Gaiani said.
'Turkey, Italy positively contributed to a political solution in Libya.'
He praised Turkey's role in the political solution. He said: "I think that the Turkish government, which has been working quite closely with Italy, has also given its very positive contribution to this solution."
"And I think that this very important step will bring a positive trend and that further on the military presence issues will be progressively solved. I think that we are on the right path. We will continue the very close dialogue between Italy and Turkey on Libyan issues, in the spirit of stabilizing the country," he added.
Telling that both Turkey and Italy need "stabilization of Libya," he stressed that Libya "is an important partner, not only in economic terms but also for the security of the region, of controlling terrorism, of controlling migration flows."
On February 5, Libya's rival political groups agreed in UN-mediated talks to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections this December. Dbeibeh was designated as the prime minister and tasked with forming a new government.