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General News of Thursday, 6 March 2014

Source: Charles Addo/GhanaWeb

Italian Naval Group in Ghana for maritime security, humanitarian assistance

The 30th Italian Naval Group represented by Aircraft Carrier Cavour and supply ship Etna, frigate Bergamini and patrol ship Borsini has docked at the MPS terminal at the Tema port as part of the Naval campaign “A country on the move” which started November 13, 2013.

The campaign is a daring and ambitious initiative to ensure that the Italian Naval Group achieves multiple tasks of humanitarian assistance, maritime security operations as well as Naval Diplomacy, and promote Italian entrepreneurial excellence through “made in Italy” exposition on board the ship.

The campaign however aims at enhancing Italy’s reputation at the international world by providing joint exercise and training, in order to develop the capabilities of Ghanaian Navy to boost their effectiveness in surveillance activities and maritime security in their operational environment, resulting positively in global security.

This, they say, will help fighting against piracy and illegal traffic and ensuring protection of merchant shipping across African waters including Ghana.

Addressing the media at the Tema port, Real Admiral Paolo TREU, the Commander of the Italian 30th Naval Group said “the Naval Group’s strong presence at the Tema Port has to be seen as a respectful tribute to Ghana and a special sign of friendship from Italy on the occasion of Independent Day Celebration”.

The commander also mentioned that the relationship between Ghana and Italy are getting stronger since Ghana is making incredible progress in the region of strategic importance, not only in Africa but also in the world at large.

Mr. TREU added “we are here in Ghana to show the world what Italy can do, displaying products and capabilities of excellence not only in the military world and industrial field, but also in the humanitarian one, therefore reflecting the genius, the will power, the building capabilities of the Italian people, as well as their compassion for those living in poverty and needing help”.

On her part, H.E Laura Carpini, Italian Ambassador to Ghana said the Naval Group was accompanied by NGOs such as Operation Smile and Fondazione Francesca Rava, with the help of the Italian Red Cross which will continue its humanitarian assistance mission in Ghana free of charge for some needy patients who seriously need medical attention.

“Operation Smile Surgeons, specialized in facial deformity surgery for kids, will work in the surgery rooms of the ship while some doctors who fight blindness in infants, will be working in a laboratory on board the supply ship Etna,” the ambassador said.

H. E. Carpini, also stressed that the Naval Group’s visit to Ghana will further widen bilateral relations among the two countries in the framework of Italy-Africa Initiative which was launched early last year by the Italian Foreign Affairs Minister with a particular focus in the defense sector.

This, she said, will be a close interaction with Ghana Navy, through training exercises, workshops on anti-piracy operations and possible Naval activities at sea. This will also include the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to participate in a conference on Italian experience in peace keeping operations.

The Naval Campaign is a traditional activity of all Navies representing important milestone in their history. The Naval Group is expecting to leave the Tema port for Italy on Monday March 10, 2014.

CLICK HERE to watch the 30th Italian Naval Group in display

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