The Mediterranean region's stability and boosting flourishing economic relations between Italy and Greece were at the centre of talks in Rome on Wednesday between foreign minister Luigi Di Maio and his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"Minister Di Maio reiterated the solidity of bilateral relations and the common interest in working together on the main issues of the European agenda and for the stability of the Mediterranean," said the statement.
Di Maio also expressed "great appreciation" at the news that Greece and its neighbour Turkey will resume talks on 25 January aimed at reducing tensions following the dispute last year over maritime borders and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean, the statement noted.
Di Maio told Dendias he hoped "the constructive approach of Athens will favour the rebuilding of confidence and greater stability in the Eastern Mediterranean," according to the statement.
Italy is pleased with the "healthy" state of its business ties with Greece and wants to step up cooperation in the energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, aerospace and defence sectors and in 'green economy' projects, the statement cited Di Maio as saying.
Italy has various reservations around the new migration and asylum pact proposed by the EU executive, Di Maio told Denias, the statement said. Di Maio "reaffirmed the unity of the MED5 Group (which includes Athens)" and concrete solidarity with the (southern Mediterranean) countries of first arrival," the statement noted.
"The Minister confirmed Italy's commitment together with Greece for the impartial implementation of the EU's IRINI operation," the statement said. IRINI - a naval and aerial operation - began in March last year with the aim of enforcing the United Nations arms embargo against Libya.
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