Algeria, Italy look to broaden ties beyond coveted energy – The Hill

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Energy

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Italy moved to deepen its ties with Algeria through a series of memorandums signed Monday during a two-day visit by Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, who called Algeria Italy’s “most stable, strategic and long-standing’’ partner in the region.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said he reiterated to Meloni that his gas-rich North African country wants a solid strategic partnership with Italy “that should go beyond the energy sector” and end its dependence on hydrocarbons.

Tebboune gave Meloni, in office just three months, a solemn welcome ahead of their private meeting that capped a two-day working visit without fanfare.

Algeria has already become Italy’s main supplier of natural gas as Italy seeks alternatives to Russian gas since its invasion of Russia last February.

The agreements underlined Italy’s ambition to become an energy hub for Europe based on imports from Africa, with a focus on Northern Africa and Algeria, dubbed the “Mattei Plan’’ for the late former CEO of Italian energy company ENI Enrico Mattei.

Meloni’s visit follows two others last year by her predecessor, Mario Draghi, who secured for Italy pledges that increased imports of Algerian gas from 14 billion cubic meters (494 billion cubic feet) in 2021 to 20 billion cubic meters (706 billion cubic feet) in 2022.

“This is a model of co …

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