Italy bats for inclusive multilateralism following Trump’s offer to expand G-7

NEW DELHI: Italy, one of G-7 member states, has advocated an inclusive multilateralism rather than an exclusive club following US President Donal Trump’s initiative to expand G-7 to include India, Russia, South Korea and Australia and hopes to strengthen G-20 in partnership with Delhi.

“Italy carefully evaluates any proposal that may enhance international dialogue and promote a more inclusive multilateralism. Italy believes in all formats of dialogue that facilitate economic coordination and a new sustainable globalisation. There is a world that is changing and any proposal that goes in the direction of intercepting this change will be considered,” Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo de Luca told ET in an exclusive interaction following the US President’s offer.

“Italy will chair G20 in 2021 and it wants to contribute, together with India, that will chair G20 in 2022 , to shape a new agenda to address the global challenges coming from the pandemic, the economic recession and the climate change,” the envoy noted as he pushed for stronger coordination between Delhi and Rome on G-20 agenda.

It may be recalled that Italy which was originally scheduled to host G-20 in 2022 swapped it with India which was originally scheduled to host it in 2021 at Delhi’s request. India was keen to host the G-20 on the occasion of 75th anniversary of its independence in 2022 and Italy accommodated India’s request. Italy is among India’s top five trading partners in the EU. The Indian community in Italy is the second largest community of Indians in Europe after UK.

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While Italy’s ties with Trump is not marked by acrimony unlike Germany it can be inferred that Italy does not favour an expanded G-7 that promotes exclusivity. Italy, for the past few years, have been advocating the return of Russia to make group G-8. Moscow-Rome ties are marked by warmth and the Russian government sent several medical supplies to Italy to fight pandemic during Italy’s worst period a couple of months back.

Simultaneously, Italy being NATO member state is trying to balance its ties between the USA and China. Italian-Chinese relations have been on the upswing and Rome has signed the Belt and Road Initiative that surprised many in the West.

Italy carefully assesses any proposal that can promote international dialogue, and strongly believes in all dialogue fora, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday in response to the proposal to expand G-7 format and invite Russia, among other countries, to the next summit.



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