Transatlantic Cooperation Towards the Middle East

On December 4, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations program hosted an off-the-record roundtable discussion with Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the Italian Parliament, Lapo Pistelli. Pistelli has been an integral part of Enrico Letta’s government since his appointment in May 2013. The conversation also featured program directors from the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

This session focused on the state of transatlantic cooperation towards the wider Middle East region, with special emphasis on Iran, Syria, and Iraq. Italy has long been a key player in the Mediterranean and has expanded its focus on the region more broadly. One of the challenges for Italy is managing the “regional spillover” from the Middle East conflicts. Thus far, Italy has received 36,000 migrants from conflict states in the Middle East and Africa. Pistelli touched upon how Italy can address migrant integration as well as how Italy can become more involved in regional policies.  Participants also discussed transatlantic cooperation towards the “Arab Spring” states and assisting in promoting regional stability.