Meloni’s eyes in Italy are boosted by a strong energetic relationship with Algeria. WGN Radio 720

ALGIERS, ALGERIA (AP) — Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is looking to strengthen her already strong energy ties with Algeria, further pulling Italy away from Russian energy.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has turned the world’s strategic and economic dynamics upside down, giving a new and urgent dimension to relations between Algiers and Rome, which have long relied on Russian energy. Other European Union countries are also scrambling to find alternative sources of energy for Russia.

Italy and gas-rich Algeria want to expand Algeria’s energy supplies to Italy, building on Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s successful initiative last year, and Algerian diplomats said they would “promote beyond that.” ” he said.

“We want Italy to become the European hub for Algerian gas. in an interview with the daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

Algeria will replace Russia as Italy’s number one energy supplier, sending natural gas through a trans-Mediterranean pipeline.

The first deal Draghi signed last year added 9 billion cubic meters of gas between 2023 and 2024, Eni said at the time. A few months later, in July, his $4 billion contract was signed between Eni, the Italian energy company, Occidental and Total.

Meloni will meet with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and the country’s Prime Minister. His CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi, will be part of the delegation.

“Today we are Italy’s main energy partner,” said Tualia. “But we aim to go beyond that.”

Algeria’s ambassador Touahria said Italy’s Eni and Algeria’s oil company Sonatrach are also looking to the future with projects such as oil and gas exploration in Southern Sahara.

Besides energy, a wide range of topics will be discussed during Meloni’s visit, from shipbuilding to automobiles to start-ups.

Meloni’s far-right-led coalition will likely win September’s national elections, putting the issue of immigration and immigration, dear to Europe’s far-right, on the agenda.

Italy is a magnet for immigrants fleeing poverty, war and other hardships at home, including North Africans from Tunisia and Algeria.

Algeria’s ambassador to Italy met with Italy’s interior minister this week before Mr Meloni’s visit. Officials at the Italian consulate in Rome regularly try to identify suspected Algerian illegal immigrants detained in Sardinia and southern Italy, Algeria’s state news agency APS quoted Tualia as saying.

Meloni and Tebboune met on the sidelines at a climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in November. Meloni’s eyes in Italy are boosted by a strong energetic relationship with Algeria. WGN Radio 720

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