KSA-Italian cooperation hailed

KSA-Italian cooperation hailed
The Carabiniere docked at Jeddah Islamic Port on Thursday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 30 December 2016

KSA-Italian cooperation hailed

KSA-Italian cooperation hailed

JEDDAH: Elisabetta Martini, Italy’s consul general in Jeddah, on Wednesday hailed Saudi-Italian military and economic cooperation.
“This special Italian-Saudi cooperation does not only have a military side, but also a commercial one,” she said at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), marking the docking on Tuesday of Italy’s anti-submarine warship Carabiniere until Jan. 1.
“Jeddah is the first and only stop in the Gulf for the Italian delegation and the representatives of some advanced companies in terms of technology.”
Francesco Pagnotta, commander of the Carabiniere, said 60 young Saudis would be trained in Italian academies — 10 of them in the naval academy — in the coming year.
“This exchange of training is a very good base for a better future in terms of naval relationship,” he said, adding that the Royal Saudi Navy was similar to Italy’s in terms of professionalism and work.
Pagnotta will meet Saudi naval chiefs, including the commander of the Western Fleet. JCCI Vice Chairman Mazen Batterjee said the companies that built the warship were invited to invest in Saudi Arabia “to transfer their expertise and technical knowledge ... as we aspire to make the Kingdom a manufacturer and builder of such ships, not only a consumer and importer.”
Samar Fatany, a member of the Council of Saudi Chambers, said such cooperation was in line with Vision 2030, whose aims include developing Saudi defense and military capabilities.
“It’s very comforting to know that we have a friend like Italy to rely on in military and defense matters, and to know that such technology is used for peace, especially that we live in a very dangerous and difficult time,” she added.
Fatany said it was also comforting that Saudi Arabia was building its defense capabilities, which had long been neglected.
The Carabiniere is fitted with the latest-generation platform and combat systems, based on state-of-the-art military and civil standards.
It can perform a wide range of missions, including civilian tasks such as rescue and humanitarian assistance.