Italy and Egypt Sign Defense Cooperation Agreement


2015-01-11  According to a December 20, 2014 story on the Italian Defense website, the Defense Minister’s visit last Fall to Egypt has led to a new Egyptian-Italian agreement on defense cooperation.

Cooperation between Italy and Egypt is stronger. Today, in fact, Minister Pinotti and her Egyptian counterpart, Gen Sobhi, have signed a Joint Declaration on Technical and Military Cooperation, the first step toward an intergovernmental agreement in the Defence sector.In particular, the Declaration  covers the sectors of training, education and border control.

Italian Defense Minister and Gen Sobhi. Credit Photo; Italian MOD
Italian Defense Minister and Gen Sobhi. Credit Photo; Italian MOD

Today’s signature marks the actual starting of cooperation initiatives identified during the November official visit of Minister Pinotti in Egypt.

The discussion, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, focused on regional scenarios and, in particular, Libya and the current level of bilateral cooperation in the defence sector between the two countries.

Talks were also attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, Defence Secretary General-NAD, Lieutenant General Enzo Stefanini, Chief of Egyptian Navy Staff,   Admiral Osama Rabie and Deputy Minister for International Relations, Major General Mohamed Abd Alfattah Abd Alrahman Alkeshky.

And in a piece published on November 30, 2014, Dr. Theodor Karasik, a Senior Advisor to Risk Insurance Management in Dubai, wrote the following about the evolving relationship between Egypt and Italy:

On the security front, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stated strongly that the country is seeking to build a strong defense and military relationship with Egypt because of the threat from Islamic extremists, specifically ISIS and al-Qaeda franchises.

Renzi argued that “Italy is absolutely convinced that the Mediterranean is not the frontier but the heart of Europe, and Egypt must be considered a strategic partner in addressing together the problems of this area. The only way to avoid an escalation of them is through very strong cooperation between Egypt and Europe.”

Let’s be clear that the primary point of impact of the Libyan situation in Europe is Italy.

Italy has borne the brunt of Libyan refugees and the political fallout regarding this refugees is affecting the country’s security.

By uniting together, Italy and Egypt can arrest the problem through coordination of political capital and defense interests that resonate with the GCC.