Di Maio special EU envoy for the Gulf. Borrell: “Most Suitable Candidate”

The letter (read) in possession of Adnkronos. Decision taken, now the ratification of the Cops. Tajani: “Legitimate choice but he is not a government candidate”

Luigi Di Maio is the EU special envoy for the Persian Gulf. The decision has been made, now only the ratification by the Cops is missing, a “mere formality”, according to insiders. For Josep BorrellEU Foreign Minister, it’s him the “most suitable candidate” for this new role, as written by Borrell himself in the letter dated April 21 and addressed to the ambassadors of the Cops, a letter in the possession of Adnkronos (READ).

“As a former Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio has the necessary political profile at international level for this role” writes the High Representative for European Foreign Policy thus motivating the decision to “propose to appoint him EU Special Representative for the Gulf”. “His extensive contacts with the Gulf countries – underlines Borrell – will allow him to engage with the relevant actors at the appropriate level. We must maintain the momentum of our strengthened engagement with the Gulf. I count on Di Maio’s support to implement our strategic partnership with Gulf partners”.

Borrell recalls that on 28 July 2022, when the Draghi government was still in office, albeit out of office, he proposed “the establishment of an EU special representative for the Gulf” and that he “invited the member states to propose candidates for this new role”. According to Borrell, the former foreign minister is currently the right candidate, the proposal – technically a formality – is therefore to entrust him with the task “for an initial period of 21 months, starting from 1 June 2023 until 28 February 2025”.

“It is a legitimate choice by Borrell, but Di Maio is not the candidate of the Italian government”, underlines the foreign minister, Antonio Tajani. “He was a candidate before the government was born – recalls Tajani, speaking at Half an hour more – I always told Borrell that Di Maio was not the government’s candidate. It is a choice of Borrell, not of the Italian government, it is a free choice of Borrell, is within his faculties”.

A spokesperson for the Brussels executive meanwhile specifies that the European Commission “hasn’t announced anything” regarding the appointment of the EU special representative for the Gulf, recalling that the procedure “has not yet been completed and, since it is a confidential matter within the Council, we do not want to comment on it publicly, nor participate in media speculation”. “We will communicate this assignment once all decisions have been finalized and adopted,” said the spokesperson.