G20, Meloni on mission to India. And now is the Silk Road moment of truth.

Summit work on the one hand, bilaterals with leaders on the other. Giorgia Meloni’s agenda in New Delhi, where she is at the G20 together with Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, is taking shape. On the eve of the start of the sessions, the Prime Minister met with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak (focus on Ukraine, migrants and artificial intelligence), while on Saturday, September 9, on the sidelines of the works, he you will see host Narendra Modi, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and, above all, Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang. According to Italian diplomatic sources, Li Qiang himself requested the face-to-face meeting. With the latter, the Prime Minister will obviously speak about the Memorandum of Understanding on the Silk Road, one of the most delicate foreign policy dossiers the government is dealing with. In the agreement signed in March 2019 by the Conte government, which sanctions the collaboration between the two countries in the context of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, the time for choices is approaching. As stated in the document, in fact, the Memorandum will be automatically extended for a fifth year after signature, unless one of the parties terminates it by giving at least three months’ written notice to the other party. Therefore, by December Meloni should take an official position regarding the possible exit from the agreement. “The Italian position is quite clear”, underline the diplomatic sources referring to Rome’s willingness to abandon the agreement, adding that “there is life beyond the Silk Road”.

The knot to be resolved continues to be that which is linked to ‘how’ to formalize the halt, not least because Italy is the only member of the G7 that has joined the programme. The objective, therefore, is to lay the foundations for a smooth exit from Xi Jinping’s geoeconomic project, avoiding a rupture with the second world economy. A journey in stages, as demonstrated by the recent visit to Beijing by Chancellor Antonio Tajani, which will be followed by a mid-month visit by the Minister of Tourism, Daniela Santanchè, with a delegation of Italian companies. In the bilateral program with South Korean Yoon, we will talk mainly about microelectronics, specifically batteries and chips to be manufactured in Europe. “We have a highway to build, enormous potential because trade between the two countries is very low”, underline the diplomatic sources, anticipating that among the agreements to be signed in New Delhi will also be that between the EU, the United States Member States , some Gulf countries and India to develop rail infrastructure from Europe to Asia and vice versa. “An agreement in which Italy is willing to play an important role” because, it is explained, one cannot “remain closed in fortress Europe”. The aim is, therefore, “to look for markets elsewhere and talk to everyone, good and bad countries, more and less autocratic. This is a forum for dialogue, that’s what it’s for».

Forum that, however, struggles to produce a conclusive declaration that brings agreement to all the actors sitting at the G20 table. “Almost everything has been done and the differences only remain over the war in Ukraine”, admit the diplomatic sources adding that it is not clear whether there will be an explicit reference also to the need to extend the agreement on wheat. Negotiations will therefore continue throughout the night. Most countries, it is explained, will mention Russian aggression against Ukraine in the final declaration. This is a point where there is obviously a hardening on the part of Russia, which is very much supported by China. India, it is underlined, will do everything to reach a shared declaration – as happened in Bali – also because it wants its G20 to be a success, and a different result would be a step backwards compared to the conclusions of the Indonesian summit. Along with Meloni in New Delhi is also Giorgetti who was able to see the European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni (with whom to discuss the Stability Pact and the Pnrr), accused in recent days by the Italian government of playing against national interests. However, a face-to-face meeting with Meloni was not on the agenda. normal and right. And I would be happy if more happened for Italy too.”

Source: IL Tempo