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Italian ambassador lauds bilateral relations with Kuwait
March 24, 2018, 1:52 pm

The Italian Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Giuseppe Scognamiglio, along with the Italian Defence Attaché in Kuwait Col. Vito Cracas and the Commander Giuseppe Lai, commanding officer of the visiting Italian naval vessel ITS Carlo Margottini, hosted a press conference on board the vessel on 19 March. The European Multi-Mission Frigate (FREMM), ITS Carlo Margottini, considered the jewel of the Italian shipbuilding industry, docked at the Shuwaikh Port on an official visit from 16 to 20 March to support the building of military ties between Kuwait and Italy.

During the press conference, Ambassador Scognamiglio lauded the strong bilateral relations between Kuwait and Italy in various fields of political, economic and military, and expressed Rome's eagerness to maintain a close rapport with the Gulf region, particularly Kuwait.

On his part, Commander Lai presented the ship’s ongoing naval campaign and highlighted various details about the ship. He said, “The deployment of the Italian FREMM frigate ensures the naval presence and surveillance aimed at protecting sea lines of communication that are of national interest to Italy. Moreover, the Italian Navy visits and conducts activities with allied and friendly nations within the framework of multinational cooperation and dialogue among countries.”

As part of the visit program, Commander Lai and his delegation held a meeting with Kuwait Navy officials where they discussed issues of mutual concerns and several areas of military cooperation.

Regarding the ship, Commander Lai revealed that ITS Margottini has participated in the following activities and exercises: operation Mare Nostrum (2014); antisubmarine warfare exercise Smart Hunt, with the German Navy (February 2015); joint activity with the US Navy for the promotion of the Green Fleet (June 2016); and exercise Mare Aperto 2017 (May 2017).

Commander Lai noted, “The ship has participated in four missions within the operation Mare Sicuro, providing presence, surveillance and maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea and will be engaged in the Gulf of Aden until August 2018”.

The Carlo Margottini was launched on 29 June, 2013 at the Italian shipyard Riva Trigoso, and delivered to the Italian Navy on 27 February, 2014. She received her combat flag on 22 April, 2016. With a 168 member-strong crew, the versatile new-generation frigate has been involved in major missions of surveillance and maritime security in the Mediterranean Sea.

She departed from La Spezia on 20 February, 2018 to Doha, Qatar, where she participated in the sixth edition of the Doha International Maritime Defense Exposition & Conference (DIMDEX 2018) before arriving in Kuwait.

The ship is currently on an ongoing mission in accordance with an Italian strategy to maintain a growing presence in the Gulf region and strengthen ties with its allies, and is slated to continue from Kuwait to neighboring Saudi Arabia and UAE.  She is expected to arrive in Djibouti next month to take command of the European Union's (EU) counter-piracy operation ‘Atalanta’. 

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