Ep. 23 – “Central Asia – Italy” third meeting in Rome

Specialeurasia Geopolitical Report Podcast Ep.23 - Italy and Central Asia meeting
Geopolitical Report - SpecialEurasia
Ep. 23 - "Central Asia - Italy" third meeting in Rome


In the latest Geopolitical Report Podcast, we explored the recent high-level meeting between Italian and Central Asian republics’ foreign affairs ministers held in Rome.

According to La Farnesina, this gathering marked the third “Central Asia – Italy” foreign ministers’ meeting under the C5+1 format. Discussions during this meeting encompassed various dimensions of cooperation, including political, economic, trade, water and energy, environmental, transport, tourism, and educational spheres.

The exchange of views extended to current regional and international issues, such as the threats and challenges of contemporary times, the situations in Afghanistan and the Middle East, highlighting the broad scope of dialogue between the involved parties.

A significant portion of the discussions likely centred on the International Trans-Caspian Transport Route (ITR), also known as the Middle Corridor. This project is a network of railway and sea lines designed to expedite trade between Europe and the Far East by bypassing Russian infrastructure and utilising Central Asian routes.

The European Union has expressed strong support for this initiative, committing to a 10 billion euro investment through its Global Gateway infrastructure plan announced in January 2024. The strategic importance of the ITR is expected to grow over time, enhancing European engagement in the region and facilitating greater economic connectivity between the continents.

Italy’s involvement in Central Asia can be seen as a strategic move that aligns with Brussels’ broader objectives in the region. This collaboration could bolster the EU strategy, particularly in reducing dependency on Russian transit routes and fostering alternative trade pathways.

However, Italy must navigate the intricate geopolitical landscape shaped by Russia’s significant political, cultural, and military influence, alongside China’s substantial investments in Central Asian infrastructure and economies.

Furthermore, Italy’s engagement must also address regional security challenges, including the persistent threat of terrorism from Afghanistan and internal issues related to water scarcity and political stability within Central Asian states.

In summary, the Rome meeting highlights Italy’s proactive commitment to strengthening relations with Central Asia, demonstrating a thoughtful approach that considers both opportunities and challenges. Italy’s diplomatic efforts in Central Asia represent a significant step towards enhancing its influence and contributing to broader European strategic interests.

Read also | Italy and Turkmenistan discussed business opportunities: might Rome support EU policy in Central Asia?

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