Foreign relations / Security and defence

Italy offers logistical support to France in Mali operations

Italian troops in Africa during World War II.

Italian troops in Africa during World War II.

Yesterday the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, and Minister of Defense Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola informed a joint session of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees of the Senate that Italy will provide logistical support to the French military mission in Mali.

The Italian move was praised by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

The Italian Government did not announce any strengthened counter-terrorism measure in anticipation of possible reprisals by Islamist terrorist cells.

Italy has never suffered a major Islamist terrorist attack. In some instances, the Italian police arrested foreign residents in connection with terrorism offences. The Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna is considered a likely target for future attacks, since it includes a fresco of the Prophet Muhammad burning in Hell.

Italy has taken an active part in the war in Afghanistan and for a time had troops deployed in Southern Iraq.

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