Italian head of government Giorgia Meloni and several ministers arrived in Algeria on Sunday for an official visit, including meetings with senior officials from Africa's leading gas exporter.
Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane welcomed Giorgia Meloni at Algiers airport for the start of this "
friendly working visit
", according to his office.
Giorgia Meloni is the latest European leader to visit Algeria since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which led to international sanctions against Moscow and cuts in Russian gas supplies having drives up prices.
It is in this context that the predecessor of Giorgia Meloni, Mario Draghi, concluded in July a series of agreements with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
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Among these agreements was a large oil and gas production sharing contract worth four billion dollars between Algeria and companies in the energy sector, including the Italian giant Eni, with the aim of reducing the dependence of the 'Italy Russian deliveries.
An Algerian official then said that his country would also increase its gas exports to Italy.
Giorgia Meloni is due to meet Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Italy imported 95% of the gas it consumed, of which about 40% came from Russia.
To reduce this dependency, Rome is increasingly turning to Algeria, historically its second largest supplier.
Eni, present in Algeria since 1981, manages with the Algerian giant of hydrocarbons Sonatrach the TransMed gas pipeline which connects the country to Italy, via Tunisia.