President receives Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella

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President receives Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella
President receives Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Mozambican president Filipe Nyusi is this Tuesday morning receiving his counterpart Sergio Mattarella, the first Italian head of state to visit the country, as the presidential office in Maputo had earlier announced.

“The talks will focus on bilateral cooperation, boosting trade and investment,” the same statement added.

The visit comes at a time when Italian oil company Eni is leading the start of natural gas exploitation in the Rovuma basin, via a floating platform stationed about 40 kilometres off Cabo Delgado.

The reserves are among the largest in the world and the only reason why there are not yet more projects to exploit them is due to the armed insurgency in northern Mozambique, which has halted work on land.

In the case of the offshore platform, gas has already begun to be pumped for liquefaction and export to begin in the coming months.

Relations with Italian companies extend to other sectors such as construction and energy.

Italy was in 2020, the date of the most recent official statistics, the main destination for Mozambique’s exports to the European Union (EU), made up mainly of aluminium.

On the other side of the scale, Italy was the second EU country (after Portugal) on the list of imports, supplying Mozambique mainly with chemicals and metal parts for infrastructure.

According to the Mozambican presidency, today’s meeting between Nyusi and Mattarella would also serve for the two heads of state to talk about the situation “of their respective regions, continents and the world.

In Europe, the war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion is the focus of attention, due to its impact on global inflation, while Mozambique is still dealing with armed attacks that limit further investment in Cabo Delgado gas.

This context of conflict is known to Italian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and humanitarian organisations, with a history of presence in Mozambique.

After the official talks, “the two countries will proceed to sign bilateral legal instruments, in the presence of the two heads of state,”the statement concluded.

Mattarella’s visit comes three years after Nyusi visited Italy.

At the time, the Mozambican president said he was interested in “enhancing” cooperation strategies with Italy.

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