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Bucharest
November 22, 2019
DIPLOMACY

Italian President Sergio Mattarella starts official visit to Romania on Monday

Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrives on Monday in Bucharest for his first official visit to Romania. According to the Italian press, on Monday afternoon the Italian Head of State will meet, at the residence of Italian Ambassador to Romania Diego Brasioli, the representatives of the Italian business community. Over 20,000 Italian companies are currently active in Romania.

On Tuesday, the Italian Head of State will be received by President Klaus Iohannis at the Presidential Palace. The two met before, in April 2015, during the official visit that the Romanian President paid to Italy. On the second day of his visit, President Mattarella will meet Premier Dacian Ciolos, and will then attend, alongside his Romanian counterpart, the inauguration of the ‘Italian Investments in Romania – A European Road in the Global Economy’ Economic Forum.

Relations between Romania and Italy are very intense and strong, bearing in mind that the largest foreign community in Italy is the Romanian community, totalling 1.1 million persons, but also the fact that Romania  is Italy’s top trade partner, with trade that totals approximately EUR 13 bln, far higher than trade with larger countries such as Brazil, India and Japan.

Moreover, 154,000 Romanian students are studying in Italy, representing 19 percent of the total number of foreign students.

Starting off from these premises and bearing in mind the current European context, the Italian Head of State’s visit to Bucharest has a special meaning. Firstly, it will lay another brick at the solid foundation of the special relationship between the two countries and of the climate of trust in high-level political dialogue, the previous visit of an Italian Head of State to Bucharest having taken place 5 years ago, when ex-president Giorgio Napoletano visited Romania.

Secondly, the visit is a new opportunity, as emphasised by the Italian press, for President Mattarella to thus confirm his foreign policy vision and strategy on consolidating relations with countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean area, where Italy can play a fundamental role.

Last but not least, the visit paid to Bucharest by the Italian President comes just a few weeks before the NATO Summit in Warsaw, where both Italy and Eastern countries will express their concern about the security risks the region is facing.

In what concerns her, Italy is interested in consolidating her friendship with countries with which she shares convergent interests, the Italian press notes, announcing that President Mattarella will visit Sofia too several months from now.

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