July 23 () –
The Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, has opened this Saturday the Conference on Development and Migration in Rome and which has the presence, among others, of the heads of State and Government of Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Libya and Lebanon.
The conference will focus on strengthening security policies against human trafficking operations in the Mediterranean, in the latest initiative of this type in which Meloni is participating, who in the middle of the month was already part of a European delegation to sign with the President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, a memorandum of understanding based on the fight against illegal migration, among other areas.
“What we are inaugurating today is a dialogue between equals based on mutual respect. Europe cannot maintain a conflictive relationship with the rest of the Mediterranean countries because our interests, in reality, are much closer than we dare to admit”, he made known during his initial speech, reported by ‘La Repubblica’.
In his initial appearance, Meloni reiterated once again that operations in the Mediterranean must be directed against “criminal organizations that use their force against states” and are “one more link” in a chain of “illegal migration that hurts the whole world.”
Thus, “our priority should be to strengthen our judicial and police cooperation, as well as that of the different intelligence structures” in an initiative that he highlighted as part of a broader strategy that he called the “Rome Process.” “I hope it’s the first of many,” he settled.
The far-right Italian government is criticized by international NGOs, which accuse Meloni of championing a policy that ultimately ends up punishing migrants by hindering rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and ignoring the hardships and abuses they suffer in the same countries with which they sign agreements, in the case of Tunisia or Libya.