“With a unilateral decision by the Foreign Ministry, which I do not think involved the rest of the government, all military supplies to the United Arab Emirates were blocked” and “what happened is not at all surprising”. This is how Vincenzo Camporini, former Chief of Defense Staff and head of the Security by Action sector, speaks with Aki – Adnkronos International, on the recent tensions between Rome and Abu Dhabi after the Emirates banned an Air Force Boeing flight over the past few days Italian direct to Afghanistan. “The decisions made by the foreign minister should be reviewed,” he says.
“All military supplies to the Emirates have been blocked, including some things that frankly leave us stunned”, observes Camporini. “The Emirates have an aerobatic team that flies with Italian airplanes and we have blocked their spare parts – he continues – These are training aircraft. Nobody can think of them being used for war reasons beyond the unilateral assessment of what is happening in the Middle East. So the UAE government is clearly very angry and being very angry it reacted as probably anyone would have reacted “. “We – he continues – should reflect on our policy of exporting military equipment because things are currently not going well”.
Camporini recalls the “law 185” of 1990 which “had established an inter-ministerial committee” in such a way as to have “a collegial vision” and how “three years after” that law “this committee was abolished and today everything is entrusted to a office of the foreign ministry “which operates” without government involvement, with assessments that at this particular moment I find quite questionable “. Camporini talks about what he considers a “serious problem because we are not talking about any sector of the national economy, but about a strategic sector”.
On the risk of eliminating exports and compromising the Italian presence in the region, Camporini believes it is “a very high risk”. “When existing contracts are blocked – he reiterates – there are also problems of a commercial nature”. And not only. Thus on the hypothesis of ‘La Repubblica’ regarding the risk that tensions with the Emirates will reach the closure of the Italian base in al-Minhad, with evident repercussions for our withdrawal from Afghanistan, Camporini underlines how “surely” there are ways alternatives, much more tortuous, expensive, which require more time “. And, he says, “we need to see if these other parties” could possibly be “available” because “these behaviors clearly do not prove in favor of the stability of bilateral relations with the countries of the area”.