Italian defense minister pays a surprise visit to Somalia

Italy’s defense minister has made an unannounced visit to Mogadishu, the Somali capital on Monday.

Elisabetta Trenta, the Minister of Defence and a delegation she is leading, including the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, was received by her Somali counterpart, Hassan Mohamed Ali and other officials.

Speaking to the reporters in the capital, Ali said he met for talks with the visiting Italian counterpart on the bilateral relations between the countries and the military cooperation.

Trenta’s visit which becomes the first by such high-ranking Italian official to visit Somalia came amidst intensified attacks by the Al-Qaedalinked extremist group, Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu.

Italy is a former colony of Somalia which became independent in 1960.

In addition, Italy is one of the EU countries established recently diplomatic presence in Mogadishu which is providing direct security support and helping build the capacity of Somali forces.



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