ROME: The Italian government on Wednesday lifted restrictions on the export of military weapons to Saudi Arabia, ending an embargo which began in 2019.
The move was announced in a communique at the end of a Council of Ministers presided over by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
The decision was made “in accordance with the foreign and defense policy of Italy,” the official communique said.
Restrictions on the export of weapons from Italy to Saudi Arabia were imposed by the Italian government to prevent their use in the conflict in Yemen.
The Italian government added: “Today there is no more reason to keep those restrictions standing any longer.
“The regional context in Yemen has changed, and since April 2022, partly thanks to the truce, military activities have been sensibly circumscribed.”
Italy now believes that the reduction in military operations “significantly also mitigates the risk of misuse of bombs and missiles, particularly against civilian targets.”
Rome also acknowledged that the Kingdom “has pursued intensive diplomatic activity in support of UN mediation and was also active in a decisive manner on the economic and humanitarian assistance front.”
The press release added that in the light of the “changed situation of the conflict, the Council of Ministers states that the export of bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia does not fall under the prohibitions of exports established by Italian laws, and is in accordance with the foreign and defense policy of Italy.”