Today, Tuesday, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the UAE ambassador to Rome, Omar Al Shamsi, against the background of the UAE authorities’ refusal to cross its airspace while on its way to Afghanistan to participate in the ceremony of the withdrawal of Italian soldiers, as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
In this context, the Italian news agency AKI reported that “on the instructions of Minister Luigi Di Maio, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ettore Sequi, today summoned the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Rome, Omar Al Shamsi.”
The agency added that Sekoye expressed to the ambassador “surprise and deep disappointment” about the “unexpected and difficult to understand” behavior of the UAE.
Italian Foreign Ministry summons the Emirati ambassador
Meanwhile, Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini said, in a statement to reporters on the sidelines of his participation in the ceremony of lowering his country’s flag from Herat, western Afghanistan, and the withdrawal of the Italian military mission from there: “Some diplomatic initiatives have been taken, by summoning the Emirati ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request Clarifications and to express the complete disappointment and astonishment at the refusal to fly in the Emirati airspace.
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He stressed that the Emirati refusal came “despite informing the authorities in advance.”
According to Italian media, an Italian Air Force plane on its way to attend the closing ceremony of the military mission in Herat had to land at Dammam Airport, Saudi Arabia, because the UAE authorities refused to pass it through its airspace in the middle of the flight.
Regarding the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the commander of the US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said earlier that his country continues to “implement a safe and cautious withdrawal of US forces under the direction of our President (Joe Biden), and in coordination with our allies and partners in “NATO”.
“We have now completed half of the regression process, and will meet the deadline for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan next September,” McKenzie noted. We still maintain our embassy there, we will continue to support the Afghan security forces, and we will continue to conduct counter-terrorism operations.”
The US forces in Afghanistan intend to return the US Bagram base, the largest in Afghanistan, to the Afghan army by June 20, in a new phase of the rapid withdrawal from the country.
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