Energy, defence, and migration dominated discussions in a meeting between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani engaged in “deep talks” in Doha, which focused on defence and energy collaborations, investments and strategies to address illegal migration.
“The meeting has been an occasion to consolidate the excellent bilateral relations and personal relationship with Qatar’s head of state,” Meloni’s office said in a statement on Monday.
At the heart of these deliberations were bilateral matters, with particular emphasis on investments within the defence sector to fortify their alliance.
The two officials engaged in a comprehensive dialogue on illegal migration and underscored their commitment to finding common solutions.
Meloni also reiterated her country’s gratitude towards Qatar for its vital medical aid during the Covid-19 pandemic and its instrumental role in facilitating the safe evacuation of Italian citizens from Afghanistan, a statement by the Amiri Diwan said.
Meloni, who was also accompanied by Italy’s Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, also met with Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani to discuss strengthening ties and collaboration between both nations.
In the pursuit of energy security and cooperation, Meloni and Giorgetti highlighted significant collaboration opportunities between Italy’s thriving energy giant ENI and QatarEnergy, adding that the partnership holds particular promise, as the two government-controlled energy entities were already joined in a strategic ventures.
QatarEnergy has named Italy’s oil and gas company Eni as its second partner for the North Field East (NFE) Project, the Qatari state-owned gas company announced in June.
Under the agreement, Eni will be a new joint venture company (JV), holding 25% interest while the Qatari company holds the remaining 75%.
The JV will also own 12.5% of the entire NFE project, comprising four mega liquified natural gas (LNG) trains with a combined capacity of 32 million tonnes per annum.
The NFE is one of two parts of the $28.75 billion North Field liquified natural gas (LNG) expansion project that is set to ramp up Qatar’s production from 77 to 110 million tonnes per annum.
The second part is the North Field South (NFS) project which will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 110 to 126 million tonnes per annum.
The visit also offered a crucial platform for sharing viewpoints on central challenges in the region. The leaders discussed means to acquire a deeper understanding of the intricate regional dynamics, underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts.
On the topic of collaborative efforts, Italy’s defence ministries and Qatar inked technical agreements on defence cooperation in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in November.
The Italian joint military unit, under the leadership of the national army, comprised approximately of 560 soldiers drawn from the Armed Forces and the Carabinieri.
They were accompanied by a fleet of 46 land vehicles, a multipurpose offshore patrol boat named Paolo Thaon di Revel, and two aircraft.
Italy’s military deployment, which commenced in early October, held the crucial responsibility of aiding the Qatari Armed Forces in safeguarding the security and defence infrastructure for Qatar 2022.
This collaborative effort from Italy went hand in hand with other security forces from 18 other countries to ensure a safe FIFA World Cup tournament, the first in the Middle East.