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Italian Republic

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This article describes the foreign relations of Italy.


International organization participation

AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CDB (non-regional), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNSC, UNTSO, UPU WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, Zangger Committee

Foreign relations

Italy was one of the Founding members of the European Community — now the European Union (EU). The country was admitted to the United Nations in 1955 and is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe. It chaired the CSCE (the forerunner of the OSCE) in 1994, the EU in 1996, and the G8 in 2001, and held the EU presidency from July to December 2003.

Italy participated in and deployed troops in support of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Mozambique, and East Timor and provides critical support for NATO and UN operations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. 1,000 Alpini troops were deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in February 2003. Italy also supported international efforts to reconstruct and stabilize Iraq through its military contingent of some 3,200 troops, as well as humanitarian workers and other officials. The troops remained in Iraq until December 2006 when they were retrieved by the Prodi-government.[citation needed]

In August 2006 Italy sent about 3,000 soldiers to Lebanon for the ONU peacekeeping mission UNIFIL.[1] Furthermore, since 2 February 2007 an Italian, Claudio Graziano is the commander of the UN force in the country.

The Italian government seeks to obtain consensus with other European countries on various defense and security issues within the EU as well as NATO.[citation needed] European integration and the development of common defense and security policies will continue to be of primary interest to Italy.[citation needed]

In February 2007, Italy, Britain, Canada, Norway and Russia announced their funding commitments to launch a $1.5 billion project to help develop vaccines they said could save millions of lives in poor nations, and called on others to join them.[1]

Relations with the Pacific

On January 21, 2008, the Solomon Times reported that Italy had "pledged to convene an Italian-Pacific Islands Forum towards the end of 2008". The newspaper reported that Italy wished to "deepen [its] bilateral relations with Pacific Island countries". Italy has applied to be a dialogue partner of the Pacific Islands Forum, and attended a Forum meeting in Tonga in October 2007. A Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and the Pacific Islands countries exists as a commitment to provide development aid.[2] However, the fall of the Prodi government a few days after the publication of this article has left the future of Italy-Pacific Islands relations potentially uncertain.[citation needed]

Illegal immigration

Italian and Albanian authorities managed to basically stop the flow of illegal immigrants and human trafficking from the Albanian coast to Italy, that have acquired great significance toward the end of the last century.[citation needed]

From the beginning of the current century the most important flow of immigrants come from the coasts and the illegal organizations of Libya.[citation needed] However, as for almost all continental European countries, the numerically biggest flow come from terrestrial borders.[citation needed]

Relations by region and country



Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria See Austria–Italy relations

Austria has an embassy in Rome, a general consulate in Milan and 10 honorary consulates (in Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Trieste, Turin, Venice and Verona). Italy has an embassy in Vienna, a consulate in Innsbruck, and 4 honorary consulates (in Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg).

 Belarus See Foreign relations of Belarus
 Belgium See Foreign relations of Belgium
 Bulgaria 1879 See Bulgaria–Italy relations
 Croatia See Croatia–Italy relations

Croatia and Italy made progress toward resolving a bilateral issue dating from World War II over property and ethnic minority rights.

Italy is in dispute with Croatia over the Croatian contiguous zone in the Adriatic Sea. Croatia invoked her contiguous zone in 2003, but soon came under pressure from Italy, because that would break an earlier agreement with Italy and Slovenia [6]. Today, the Croatian contiguous zone doesn't apply to EU countries, but that has automatically changed on 1 January 2008.[citation needed] According to Croatian officials, Italy has threatened Croatia to block its acceptance to EU.[citation needed] In the meantime, Italy invoked her own contiguous zone in Adriatic, without breaking the agreement on fishing zones.[citation needed]

 Cyprus See Foreign relations of Cyprus
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Denmark See Foreign relations of Denmark
 Estonia See Foreign relations of Estonia
 Finland See Foreign relations of Finland
 Georgia See Georgia–Italy relations
 Germany See Foreign relations of Germany
 Greece 1861 See Greece–Italy relations

In modern times, both countries established diplomatic relations in 1861, immediately upon Italy’s unification.

 Holy See See Holy See – Italy relations

Due to the size of the Vatican City State, embassies accredited to the Holy See are based on Italian territory. Treaties signed between Italy and the Vatican City State permit such embassages. The Embassy of Italy to the Holy See is unique amongst foreign embassages in that it is the only embassy based on its home territory.

The Holy See maintains formal diplomatic relations with 176 sovereign states, the European Union, and the Order of Malta; 69 of the diplomatic missions accredited to the Holy See are situated in Rome, though those countries then have two embassies in the same city, since, by agreement between the Holy See and Italy, the same person cannot be accredited simultaneously to both. This is shown clearly by the fact that Italy recognizes the People's Republic of China, and as such, the Chinese Embassy is in Rome. However, the Vatican City State recognizes the Taiwan, and as such, Taiwan's Embassy to the Holy See is also in Rome. As Italy was the first country to recognize the Holy See as a sovereign nation, their embassy was the first one established.

 Hungary See Foreign relations of Hungary
 Iceland See Foreign relations of Iceland
 Ireland See Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 Kosovo See Italian–Kosovan relations

Italy recognized Kosovo on 21 February 2008.[9][10] Italy has an embassy in Pristina since 15 May 2008.[11] Kosovo will open an embassy in Rome.

 Latvia 1991-08-30
 Luxembourg 1902
 Malta See Italy–Malta relations
 Monaco See Italy-Monaco relations
 Montenegro 2006-06-14
 Poland 1919
 Romania 1873-04-23
 Russia See Italy–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Rome and consulates in Genoa, Milan and Palermo, and Italy has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate in Saint Petersburg, two consulte generals (in Ekaterinburg and Kaliningrad), and two embassy branches in (Samara and Volgograd). Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Russia enjoys close relations with Italy. In 2006, Russia and Italy have signed a protocol of cooperation for fighting crime and defending civil liberties. There are close commercial ties between the two countries. Italy is Russia's second important commercial partner in the EU, after Germany. and its state-owned energy company, ENI, has recently signed a very important long-term contract with Gazprom, to import Russian gas into Italy. The relationship between Russia and Italy goes back a long way. Already in the 1960s, Italy's FIAT built a car-assembling plant in the Soviet city of Tolyatti (a city named after the Italian Communist Party's secretary Palmiro Togliatti). Russians have always visited Italy in great numbers. Many Russian students come to Italy each year to study arts and music.[citation needed] Unlike many other Western European countries, Italy has traditionally always maintained good relationships with Russia, even during the Soviet era.[citation needed] In particular, the Berlusconi Government (2001–2006) strengthened Italy's ties with Russia, due to his personal friendship with President Putin. Cooperation extends also to the aviation sector, between Italy's Alenia and Russia's Sukhov, who are jointly developing a new aircraft. Finally, for a long time Italy had the largest communist party in the Western world, with over 2 million members. [28].

 Serbia 1879
 Spain See Italy–Spain relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations after the unification of Italy. Relations between Italy Spain have remained strong and affable for centuries owing to various political, cultural, and historical connections between the two nations.

 Turkey 1856
 Switzerland See Italy–Switzerland relations
 Ukraine 1992
 United Kingdom See Italy – United Kingdom relations

Although enemies during World War II, the United Kingdom and Italy have generally enjoyed a warm and friendly relationship throughout history. Both states share membership of the European Union, NATO, OSCE and the G8[34]

Between 4 and 5 million British tourists visit Italy every year, while 1 million Italian tourists visit the UK.[35] There are about 19,000 British nationals living in Italy, and 150,000 Italians living in the UK.[36]

 Yugoslavia See Italy–Yugoslavia relations

The Kingdoms of Italy and Yugoslavia have had increasingly turbulent relations during the 20th century.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina See List of diplomatic missions of Argentina
 Canada See Foreign relations of Canada
 Chile 1864-01-20 See Foreign relations of Chile
  • Italy was recognized in 1864 by President José Joaquín Pérez and relations were established.
  • Relations were suspended in 1943 and re-established after the end of World War II.
  • Italy has an embassy in Santiago de Chile
  • Chile has an embassy in Rome, a consulate-general in Milan and 9 honorary consulates.
 Colombia See Foreign relations of Colombia
 Mexico 1946
  • Relations were established in 1846 after the unification of Italy. However relations were cut off and suspended during World War II. However in 1946 they were re-established.
  • Mexico has an embassy in Rome and a consulate-general in Milan
  • Italy has an embassy in Mexico City.
  • Both countries are members of the Latin Union and the G8+5.
  • There are estimated 300,000 Mexicans of Italian descent living in Mexico today.
  • During the 2009 Italian earthquake, Mexico,[37] offered assistance to Italy through the Topos de Tlatelolco search and rescue organization.
 Paraguay 1867
 Peru 1874-12-23
 United States See Italy–United States relations

The United States enjoy a peculiar relation with Italy, as the latter, defeated in WWII, has been a secret battlefield of the Cold War. Italy and the US are NATO allies and cooperate in the United Nations, in various regional organizations, and bilaterally. Italy has worked closely with the United States and with other nations on such issues as NATO and UN operations as well as with assistance to Russia and the New Independent States; the Middle East peace process; multilateral talks; Somalia and Mozambique peacekeeping; and combating drug trafficking, trafficking in women and children, and terrorism.

Under longstanding bilateral agreements flowing from NATO membership, Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vicenza and Livorno (army); Aviano (air force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and Naples- home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet. The United States still has about 16,000 military personnel stationed in Italy. The NATO War College is situated at Cecchignola, near Rome.

Also, investigations continue about the killing of Italian Military Intelligence service officer Nicola Calipari by United States troops during the liberation of Giuliana Sgrena and about the abduction and torture of terrorism suspect Abu Omar by CIA agents.[citation needed]

 Uruguay 1861

Middle East and Africa

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Egypt See Egypt–Italy relations

Relations between both countries were established during the period of the Roman Empire. However in World War II, relations were strained as Italy invaded Egypt. However after the war, relations were re-established and are close. Egypt has representations in Rome and Milan, while Italy has representations in Cairo and Alexandria, also the two nations are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.

 Iran See Iran–Italy relations

Iran-Italy trade stood at $US 2.7 Billion in 2001 [1] and 3.852 Billion Euros in 2003.[2] In 2005, Italy was the third largest trading partner of Iran with 7.5% of all exports to Iran.[3] Italy was the top trading partner of Iran in the European Union in early 2006.[45] Commercial exchanges hit 6 billion euros in 2008.[46] Although Italy harbors a large population of members of the MKO as do many European Union states, Italy officially considers the group a terrorist organization. [4]

 Iraq See Iraq–Italy relations

Iraq has an embassy in Rome and Italy has an embassy in Baghdad and a consulate-general in Basra.

 Israel 1948 See Israel–Italy relations
 Lebanon See Italy–Lebanon relations
 Libya 1947
 South Africa 1929
 Tunisia 1957

Rest of world

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia See Foreign relations of Armenia
 Australia See Australia–Italy relations
 Azerbaijan See Azerbaijan–Italy relations
 India See Foreign relations of India
 Japan 1913
 New Zealand
  • Pakistan has an embassy in Rome and a Consulate-General in Milan for representation
  • Italy maintains an embassy in Islamabad and a Consulate-General in Karachi.
  • Both countries formally have friendly foreign relations.
 People's Republic of China See People's Republic of China – Italy relations

In 2005, Italy and the People's Republic of China have celebrated the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. However, China's massive exports of textile and footwear into Italy are said to be a rising concern to Italy's economy and productivity[67].

 South Korea 1884-06-26 See Italy – South Korea relations
  • During the Korean War, Italy sent medical staff to help South Korea.[citation needed]
  • Italy has an embassy in Seoul.
  • South Korea has an embassy in Rome.
 Thailand 1870
 Vietnam 1973-03-23


  1. ^ a b "Italian soldiers leave for Lebanon Il Corriere della Sera, 30 August 2006
  2. ^ "Italy to Convene Italian-Pacific Islands Forum", Joanna Sireheti, Solomon Times, January 21, 2008
  3. ^ Bulgarian general consulate in Milan
  4. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Rome
  5. ^ Italian embassy in Sofia.
  6. ^ Croatia's Mesic suggests modification of proposed fishing zone likely (
  7. ^ Georgian embassy in Rome
  8. ^ Italian embassy in Tbilissi
  9. ^ ""Consiglio dei Ministri n. 93 del 21 febbraio 2008"" (in Italian). Italian Council of Ministers. 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  10. ^ ""Kosovo, Italia riconosce indipendenza"" (in Italian). La Stampa. 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  11. ^ "Italy appoints Ambassador to Kosovo" 16 May 2008 Link accessed 15/05/08
  12. ^ Italian embassy in Riga
  13. ^ Latvian embassy in Rome
  14. ^ Italian embassy in Vilnius
  15. ^ Lithuanian embassy in Rome
  16. ^ Italian embassy in Luxembourg City (in French and Italian only)
  17. ^ Luxembourg embassy in Rome (in Italian only)
  18. ^ Dutch representations in Italy
  19. ^ Dutch embassy in Rome (in Dutch and Italian only)
  20. ^ Dutch general consulate in Milan(in Dutch and Italian only)
  21. ^ Italian embassy in The Hague (in Dutch and Italian only)
  22. ^ Italian general consulate in Amsterdam (in Dutch and Italian only)
  23. ^ Italian embassy in Warsaw
  24. ^ Poland embassy in Rome
  25. ^ Italian embassy in Bucharest
  26. ^ Romanian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Romanian only)
  27. ^
  28. ^ Italy, Russia sign 'protocol of cooperation' - Pravda.Ru
  29. ^ Italian embassy in Belgrade (in Italian and Serbian only)
  30. ^ Italian embassy in Ankara
  31. ^ Turkish embassy in Rome
  32. ^ Italian embassy in Kiev (in Italian and Ukrainian only)
  33. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Ukrainian only)
  34. ^ Embassy of Italy in London: Political Cooperation
  35. ^ Italy Country Profile, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  36. ^ Bilateral Relations British Embassy, Italy
  37. ^ "Viajan Topos Mexicanos a Italia" (in Spanish). El Universal (Mexico City). 2009-04-08. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  38. ^ Italian embassy in Asuncion
  39. ^ Paraguay embassy in Rome (in Spanish only)
  40. ^ Italian embassy in Lima (in Italian and Spanish only)
  41. ^ Peruvian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Spanish only)
  42. ^ Peruvian general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Spanish only)
  43. ^ Peruvian general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Spanish only)
  44. ^ Italian embassy in Montevideo (in Italian and Spanish only)
  45. ^ Italy remains top trading partner of Iran in EU
  46. ^
  47. ^ Italian embassy in Tel Aviv
  48. ^ Israeli embassy in Rome (in Italian only)
  49. ^ (Italian) Lebanese Embassy in Italy
  50. ^ Italian embassy in Tripoli
  51. ^ Italian embassy in Pretoria
  52. ^ Italian consulate in Cape Town
  53. ^ South African embassy in Rome
  54. ^ Italian embassy in Tunis (in French and Italian only)
  55. ^ Australian embassy in Rome
  56. ^ Italian embassy in Canberra
  57. ^ Italian general consulate in Sydney
  58. ^ Italian general consulate in Perth
  59. ^ Azerbaijani embassy in Italy
  60. ^ Italian embassy in Azerbaijan
  61. ^ Italian embassy in Tokyo (in Italian and Japanese only)
  62. ^ Italian general consulate in Osaka
  63. ^ Japanese embassy in Rome (in Italian and Japanese only)
  64. ^ Japanese general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Japanese only)
  65. ^ Italian embassy in Wellington
  66. ^ New Zealand embassy in Rome
  67. ^ People's Daily Online - China-Italy relations experiencing "powerful acceleration": Fini
  68. ^ Italian embassy in Bangkok
  69. ^ Thai embassy in Rome
  70. ^ Italian embassy in Hanoi

See also


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