Italy-United Kingdom: the visit of three British ministers aims to give new impetus to bilateral relations

Rome and London will hold a meeting of foreign and defense ministers for the first time in a 2+2 format

Italy and the United Kingdom will hold a meeting of foreign and defense ministers for the first time in the 2+2 format, a sign of renewed understanding on an international level and a willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation. The meeting between the Italian and British ministers will be hosted in Rome on 9 February, in the setting of Villa Madama, as part of the visit to the capital by important members of the London government. In addition to the foreign minister, James Cleverley, and to that of the Defence, Ben Wallace, the Minister for Business and Trade will also arrive in our country, Kemi Badenoch, to participate in the traditional Pontignano Forum.

The meeting in the 2+2 format it will be an opportunity to reaffirm the common vision of Italy and the United Kingdom on the main regional and global dossiers on foreign and security policy issues, as evidenced by the common commitment on the Ukrainian front and above all by the agreement reached in December together with Japan on the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP). This is the development of the sixth generation air combat system by 2035 through the convergence of the Tempest and FX programs. Already at the end of November Crosetto had met his counterpart Wallace aboard the ship Duilio, moored in the port of Civitavecchia near the British Hms Albion. "The convergence of views between our countries within NATO and the shared perception of security challenges, in this particular period of growing strategic competition and crisis of the global security system, make our relationship of collaboration strategic", Crosetto declared on the occasion.

The confrontation started between the government of Giorgia Meloni and Rishi sunak it is also based on political proximity, in a continental context in which instead the centre-right executive of Palazzo Chigi represents an exception, at least among the main chancelleries of Western Europe. The prime minister met the British prime minister on the sidelines of Cop27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. A first opportunity to build a relationship which, as far as foreign policy is concerned, is based on the common positions on support for Ukraine. Furthermore, the talks also served to lay the foundations for the agreement on the Gcap. With the arrival in Rome of the three British ministers - the most important foreign delegation in terms of number and positions held - the relationship between Italy and the United Kingdom therefore seems destined to consolidate further and find new fronts for cooperation.

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