Italian envoy backs Kingdom's anti-corruption culture

ITS Margottini makes port call in Dammam


Saudi Gazette

— The Italian Navy FREMM (European Multi-Mission Frigate) ITS Margottini made a port call on King Abdulaziz Seaport in Dammam last Wednesday as part of its anti-piracy campaign and to develop relations with its potential partners. The main theme of the naval campaign is maritime safety and surveillance, cooperation and strengthening of naval diplomacy.

On Thursday, Italian Ambassador Luca Ferrari was on board the ship to welcome members of the media and other guests.

Addressing a press conference the ambassador highlighted the strong bonding of eight decades between Italy and Saudi Arabia. He said all through history Italy stood behind the Kingdom in all its endeavors. He lauded the new anti-corruption culture evolving in the Kingdom and said Italy always firmly believed in clean business and management.

Ferrari stressed the age-old historical ties between Italy and Saudi Arabia and the role of Italy in developing and consolidating the industrial base of the country.

He emphasized the Italian commitment to after-sales service. “We are not in habit of 'selling and running,' instead we are committed to serve after selling," Ferrari said.

He showed his country’s interest in having joint ventures in national armament under the umbrella of Saudi Arabian Military Industries. Popularly known as SAMI, it is a state-owned defense company launched in May last year to provide military products and services in the Kingdom and to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military supplies. The company operates across aeronautics, land systems, including military vehicles, weapons and missiles and defense electronics.

The ambassador saw a great opportunity for Italian business in Vision 2030. He was all praise for the Vision 2030 and said Italy was in full support of the vision and was ready to cooperate with the Kingdom in all spheres. He underlined the strategic status of the Kingdom and its positive role. We are always with the Kingdom in its endeavors,” he said.

Later the commander of the ship Giuseppe Lai gave a brief rundown on his ship’s mission and sojourn and a detailed overview of the Italian Navy and its fleet.

The frigate Carlo Margottini is a ship of the Italian-French FREMM program. It was launched on June 29, 2013, at the Riva Trigoso (GE) shipyard, and delivered to the Italian Navy on February 27, 2014. It received its combat flag on April 22, 2016 in Reggio Calabria.

Carrying the hull number F592, according to the NATO classification, ITS Margottini is a new-generation frigate capable of being employed in various operating contexts. With a crew of 168 men and women — almost half as many as frigates of other classes — Margottini has a displacement of 6,700 tons and reaches a speed of 27 knots..

Later representative from Fincantieri, whose expertise is in naval large ships, made a presentation on its activities and expressed its readiness to support Saudi Arabia in becoming self-sufficient in its naval capabilities.

He presented a brief report on its activities, particularly in the Gulf region.

He said Fincantieri is honored to be on board the frigate on its port call in Dammam. "We want to thank on this occasion all the Saudi Arabian and Italian military and non-military authorities as well as the press and television networks functionaries for their presence on board. We are in agreement with the Saudi government document Vision 2030 and we do hope that the Italian flag on the mast of this ship could always bring with it peace and protection to Italy and its allied countries and strengthen a never-ending friendship between the Saudi and Italian peoples.”

Fincantieri has built naval and combat ships for the United Arab Emirates as well as some other Gulf states. It has not yet built a ship for Saudi Arabia.

The frigate sailed out from Dammam to its next destination, Abu Dhabi.