22 Jun 2020

German and Italian Ministers for Foreign Affairs visit Operation Irini’s headquarters

Rome – Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Luigi Di Maio, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, have visited today Operation Irini’s headquarters hosted in the Joint Operation Headquarters in Centocelle. Mr Maas was accompanied by the German Ambassador in Italy, Viktor Elbling.

Welcomed by the Commander of Italian Joint Operation Headquarters, General Luciano Portolano, and Irini’s Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini, the Ministers and the Ambassador received a detailed update on the Operation and its results.

During the visit the Ministers took the opportunity to witness how and where the operational activities are planned and directed.

Finally, the German Federal Minister, Heiko Maas, had the chance to meet the German National Contingent in the OHQ staff, that is composed by representatives from more than 20 Member States.

Honourable Mass said:

Today we have visited Operation Irini’s headquarters. We have given a strong signal starting Operation Irini despite the extremely difficult situation in the first weeks of the pandemic. This shows that Europe is ready to take on international responsibilities, especially in its direct neighbourhood.”

Honourable Di Maio underlined:

“Operation Irini is a concrete sign of the EU’s willingness to uphold the Berlin Conclusions. Italy has supported the Operation by hosting its headquarters and providing its Commander, Adm. Agostini, as well as the Force Commander, Adm. Socci, for the first six months. We are determined to act as guarantors of the impartiality and conflict sensitivity of monitoring actions. To this end, Italy has also announced a balanced contribution in terms of aerial and maritime assets.”