Secretary of Defense Mark Esper conducted a follow-up call with the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini on April 23 to express solidarity with the US’s close NATO Ally Italy, which has been hit hard by COVID19.
Both ministers discussed the importance of countering Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns and agreed to work closely as both nations confront the COVID19 pandemic together and with other Allies.
Secretary Esper outlined the aid package to Italy from the Department of Defense (DoD) which will include logistics, humanitarian funds and personnel support.
Minister Guerini thanked the Secretary for DoD assistance received thus far and US leadership on the crisis, and expressed sympathies for the impact on COVID19 on the United States. Minister Guerini noted Italy plans to provide assistance to NATO Allies, especially in sharing lessons learned.
The United States and Italy are working together bilaterally and through the NATO Alliance on international security and humanitarian efforts such as the Counter-ISIS Coalition, and the refugee and migration crisis in the Mediterranean.
Italy is a strong partner and leader in the global effort to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and is one of the largest troop contributors to the Counter-ISIS Coalition. The Italian Carabinieri forces are leading the way in training thousands of police in Iraq, a key component of the Coalition’s efforts to secure and stabilize Iraqi cities and towns after they have been liberated from ISSI.