Executive Intelligence Review


Trump and Conte Launch U.S.-Italy Axis, ‘Almost Twin Countries’ for Stabilization, Peace

July 31, 2018 (EIRNS)—At his joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, U.S. President Donald Trump stated that the United States recognizes Italy’s leadership role in the Mediterranean and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that a joint U.S.-Italy “steering committee” has been established to stabilize Libya, confirming what he had previously said on background to a group of Italian journalists.

Such a “preferential relationship” between the two countries has a historical significance similar to the one sought by Enrico Mattei after the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Italy was the only European country to vote in support of the U.S. resolution condemning the invading powers France and Britain against Egypt. Eventually, Mattei’s efforts were successful under the Kennedy Administration and Aldo Moro. (See EIR June 5, 2009: “Mattei and Kennedy: The Strategic Alliance Killed by the British.”)

The new “axis” between Italy and the Trump Administration has freaked out the EU establishment. Exemplary is a commentary in Die Welt:

“Conte is now Trump’s man in Europe. His best friend on a continent which he just called an enemy. A new axis seems to be born: Washington-Rome. It will stand against the old Berlin-Paris axis. ‘We are now partners,’ Trump said. It is a partnership against the dominance of Germany and France, of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.”

Both Trump and Conte had stressed the significance of the new axis at their joint press conference on Monday.

Trump said,

“Today, Prime Minister Conte and I are pleased to announce a new strategic dialogue between Italy and the United States that will enhance cooperation on a range of issues. This includes joint security efforts in the Mediterranean, where we recognize Italy’s leadership role in the stabilization of Libya and North Africa.”

Conte is fluent in English, but said he would take “the privilege for speaking in my wonderful language,” Italian. He said that both parties had agreed to set up a

“steering committee ... in the Mediterranean between Italy and the United States. I would say that we’re almost twin countries in which Italy is becoming a reference point in Europe and a privileged interlocutor for the United States, for the main threats and challenges that we have before us, terrorism, and for all the crises that we see in the Mediterranean and, in particular, in regards to Libya.

“Secondly, the American administration also recognizes that Italy has a leadership role as a promoter country that will lead to the stabilization of Libya. And of course, this with the great respect for the Libyan population.”

Later, Conte announced that

“we are going to organize, in agreement with President Trump, I’m going to organize a conference on Libya. We would like to deal and discuss all of the issues relating to the Libyan people involving all of the stakeholders, actors, protagonists in the whole of the Mediterranean. We are going to discuss economic aspects but also social aspects; the protection of civil rights; the problem of constitutional process, of issuing and passing laws (inaudible) to enable Libya in particular to get to democratic elections in a condition of the utmost stability.”