Italy ‘reliable’ NATO, EU ally, says Gentiloni

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Rome, May 22 (IANS/AKI) Italy is a solid ally of the transatlantic alliance and the European Union, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Tuesday.

“We ar reliable allies of NATO and of the EU while at the same time protecting our national interests,” he said during a visit to Italy’s military command centre here.

The deployment overseas of Italy’s armed forces safeguards national security as well as the country’s strategic and economic interests, Gentiloni said.

“We have become an international military presence that is especially valued due to our ability to make an Italian contribution to peacekeeping and to rebuilding institutions, combining force, diplomacy and local knowledge,” he said.

His comments came amid growing concern in Europe at a nascent Eurosceptic populist government that plans to lift sanctions against Russia, review EU treaties and renegotiate Italy’s debt.

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