Foreign relations of Italy
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Foreign relations of the Italian Republic are the Italian government's external relations with the outside world. Located in Southern Europe, Italy, since its unification in 1861, has been considered a major European country. Italy is a founding member of the European Union and NATO. Its main allies are France, Greece, the United States, the other NATO countries, and the European Union. Italy also maintains strong relations with Russia and the Northern African countries, especially with its ex-colony Libya, until Italy's intervention in the military intervention against the country in 2011.
As a founding member of both the European Coal and Steel Community (the European Union's predecessor), and the Union for the Mediterranean, Italy is a historic key player in the Mediterranean region, where it is a Regional Power.
The Risorgimento was the era 1830–1870 that saw the emergence of a national consciousness. With French help Italians achieved independence from Austria and from the Pope, and secured national unification.
The papacy secured French backing to resist unification. Pope Pius IX, fearing that giving up control of the Papal States would weaken the Church and allow the liberals to dominate conservative Catholics.
Italian foreign policy from the late nineteenth century to 1914, was tied in with the Triple Alliance with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Italy was especially interested in acquiring colonies in North Africa, and it finally took control of Libya. It also had an interest in East Africa, and made some acquisitions, but was badly defeated when it tried to invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in the 1890s. It successfully conquered Ethiopia in the 1930s, in the face of international disapproval. When the first world war broke out in 1914, Italy rejected its alliance with Germany, remain neutral for year, and then obtained secret treaties from the Allies that brought it into the war on their side. Italian military performance in the First World War was humiliating, but Italy demanded its treaty rights in acquisitions from the Austro-Hungarian empire after the war.
Leaders of the new nation of Italy were enthusiastic about acquiring colonies in Africa, expecting it would legitimize their status as a power and help unify the people. In North Africa Italy first turned to Tunis, under nominal Ottoman control, where many Italian farmers had settled. Weak and diplomatically isolated, Italy was helpless and angered when France assumed a protectorate over Tunis in 1881.
Italy developed its own colonial Empire. Italian colonies were Somalia and Eritrea; an attempt to occupy Ethiopia failed in the First Italo–Ethiopian War of 1895–1896. Italy was massively defeated at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. Public opinion was angered at the national humiliation by an inept government. In 1911 the Italian people supported the seizure of what is now Libya.
Italian diplomacy succeeded in getting permission to seize Libya, with approval coming from Germany, France, Austria, Briatain and Russia. A centerpiece of the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–12, came when Italian forces took control of a few coastal cities against stiff resistance by Ottoman troops as well as the local tribesmen. After the peace treaty gave Italy control it sent in Italian settlers, but suffered extensive casualties in its brutal campaign against the tribes. In 1911, Giovanni Giolitti's government sent forces to occupy Libya and declared war on the Ottoman Empire which held Libya. Italy soon conquered and annexed Tripoli and the Dodecanese Islands. Nationalists advocated Italy's domination of the Mediterranean Sea by occupying Greece as well as the Adriatic coastal region of Dalmatia.
Fascism and war: 1922-45
Benito Mussolini tried to develop an independent foreign-policy in the 1930s, but he alienated Britain and France with his invasion of Ethiopia, and became an informal partner of Nazi Germany with his support of the anti-Communist position in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Italy's joining the Axis partnership with Germany and Japan did not require it to go to war, but as France collapsed in 1940 it entered the Second World War and gained a slice of French territory. Its wartime performance in the Balkans was poor, and required assistance from Germany. Its performance against the British in North Africa was dismal, and despite large-scale German help, its army was forced to surrender in 1943. Italy was too poorly organized, and militarily too weak to play a major role in the Second World War, and when the British, the Americans, and their Allies invaded Sicily and southern Italy in 1943. Mussolini's failures became obvious and he was overthrown. Germany, however, seized the peninsula, rescued Mussolini from prison, and set him up in a puppet regime that fought alongside the Germans against the Allies.
As the war ended, the Italian economy was in ruins but it was treated as a partner of the Allies. Italy received major financial assistance from the United States through the Marshall Plan (1948–51). The US also provided financial and political support that kept the large communist element at bay in Italian politics. Italy promoted European unity, joined NATO, and became an active member of the European Union.
In the 21st century, its economic performance has been sluggish, and the main foreign-policy issue concerns the large scale arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.
Relations by region and country
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Albania||1912||See Albania–Italy relations
The Kingdom of Italy supported Albanian Declaration of Independence in 1912.
|Austria||See Austria–Italy relations
Austria has an embassy in Rome, a general consulate in Milan and 10 honorary consulates (in Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Trieste, Turin, Venice and Verona). Italy has an embassy in Vienna, a consulate in Innsbruck, and 5 honorary consulates (in Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz, Rankweil and Salzburg).
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Bulgaria||1879||See Bulgaria–Italy relations|
|Croatia||1992-01-17||See Croatia–Italy relations
|Denmark||See Denmark-Italy relations|
|Finland||See Foreign relations of Finland
|France||See France–Italy relations|
|Germany||See Germany–Italy relations
|Greece||1861||See Greece–Italy relations
In modern times, both countries established diplomatic relations in 1861, immediately upon Italy’s unification.
|Holy See||See Holy See – Italy relations
Due to the size of the Vatican City State, embassies accredited to the Holy See are based on Italian territory. Treaties signed between Italy and the Vatican City State permit such embassages. The Embassy of Italy to the Holy See is unique amongst foreign embassages in that it is the only embassy based on its home territory.
The Holy See maintains formal diplomatic relations with 176 sovereign states, the European Union, and the Order of Malta; 69 of the diplomatic missions accredited to the Holy See are situated in Rome, though those countries than have two embassies in the same city, since, by agreement between the Holy See and Italy, the same person cannot be accredited simultaneously to both. This is shown clearly by the fact that Italy recognizes the People's Republic of China, and as such, the Chinese Embassy is in Rome. However, the Vatican City State recognizes the Taiwan, and as such, Taiwan's Embassy to the Holy See is also in Rome. As Italy was the first country to recognize the Holy See as a sovereign nation, their embassy was the first one established.
|Kosovo||See Italian–Kosovan relations|
|Malta||See Italy–Malta relations
|Monaco||See Italy-Monaco relations|
|Poland||1919||See Italy–Poland relations
|Republic of Macedonia||1991||
|Russia||See Italy–Russia relations
Russia has an embassy in Rome and consulates in Genoa, Milan and Palermo, and Italy has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate in Saint Petersburg, two consulte generals (in Ekaterinburg and Kaliningrad), and two embassy branches in (Samara and Volgograd). Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Russia enjoys close relations with Italy. In 2006, Russia and Italy have signed a protocol of cooperation for fighting crime and defending civil liberties. There are close commercial ties between the two countries. Italy is Russia's second important commercial partner in the EU, after Germany. and its state-owned energy company, ENI, has recently signed a very important long-term contract with Gazprom, to import Russian gas into Italy.
The relationship between Russia and Italy goes back a long way. Already in the 1960s, Italy's FIAT built a car-assembling plant in the Soviet city of Tolyatti (a city named after the Italian Communist Party's secretary Palmiro Togliatti). Russians have always visited Italy in great numbers. Many Russian students come to Italy each year to study arts and music. Unlike many other Western European countries, Italy has traditionally always maintained good relationships with Russia, even during the Soviet era. In particular, the Silvio Berlusconi Government (2001–2006) strengthened Italy's ties with Russia, due to his personal friendship with President Vladimir Putin. Cooperation extends also to the aviation sector, between Italy's Alenia and Russia's Sukhoi, who are jointly developing a new aircraft. Finally, for a long time Italy had the largest communist party in the Western world, with over 2 million members. .
Main article: Italy–Serbia relations
Main article: Italy–Slovenia relations
|Spain||See Italy–Spain relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations after the unification of Italy. Relations between Italy Spain have remained strong and affable for centuries owing to various political, cultural, and historical connections between the two nations.
|Switzerland||See Switzerland – Italy relations|
|United Kingdom||See Italy – United Kingdom relations
Although enemies during World War II, the United Kingdom and Italy have generally enjoyed a warm and friendly relationship throughout history. Both states embrace membership of the European Union, NATO, OSCE and the G8
Between 4 and 5 million British tourists visit Italy every year, while 1 million Italian tourists visit the UK. There are about 19,000 British nationals living in Italy, and 150,000 Italians living in the UK.
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Argentina||1837||See List of diplomatic missions of Argentina|
|Chile||1864||See Chile–Italy relations|
|Mexico||1874||See Italy–Mexico relations
|United States||1861–04-11||See Italy–United States relations
The United States enjoy a peculiar relation with Italy, as the latter, defeated in WWII, has been a secret battlefield of the Cold War. Italy and the US are NATO allies and cooperate in the United Nations, in various regional organizations, and bilaterally. Italy has worked closely with the United States and with other nations on such issues as NATO and UN operations as well as with assistance to Russia and the New Independent States; the Middle East peace process; multilateral talks.
Under longstanding bilateral agreements flowing from NATO membership, Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vicenza and Livorno (army); Aviano (air force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and Naples- home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet. The United States still has about 16,000 military personnel stationed in Italy. The NATO War College is situated at Cecchignola, near Rome.
Also, investigations continue about the killing of Italian Military Intelligence service officer Nicola Calipari by United States troops during the liberation of Giuliana Sgrena and about the abduction and torture of terrorism suspect Abu Omar by CIA agents.
Asia and Africa
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Egypt||See Egypt–Italy relations
Relations between both countries were established during the period of the Roman Empire. However in World War II, relations were strained as Italy invaded Egypt. However after the war, relations were re-established and are close. Egypt has representations in Rome and Milan, while Italy has representations in Cairo and Alexandria, also the two nations are members of the Union for the Mediterranean.
|Iran||See Iran–Italy relations
Iran-Italy trade stood at $US 2.7 Billion in 2001  and 3.852 Billion Euros in 2003. In 2005, Italy was the third largest trading partner of Iran with 7.5% of all exports to Iran. Italy was the top trading partner of Iran in the European Union in early 2006. Commercial exchanges hit 6 billion euros in 2008. Although Italy harbors a large population of members of the MKO as do many European Union states, Italy officially considers the group a terrorist organization. 
|Iraq||See Iraq–Italy relations|
|Israel||1948||See Israel–Italy relations|
|Lebanon||See Italy–Lebanon relations
|Libya||1947, 2011||See Italy–Libya relations
|Somalia||See Italy–Somalia relations|
Asia and Oceania
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
Relations beetween two countries have been wonderful. Bangladesh is a huge import market for Italy. Italy has an embassy in Dhaka. Bangladesh has an Embassy in Rome.
|Australia||See Australia–Italy relations
|Azerbaijan||See Azerbaijan–Italy relations|
|Georgia||See Georgia–Italy relations
|India||See Foreign relations of India#Italy|
|Indonesia||1952||See Indonesia–Italy relations
|Malaysia||See Italy–Malaysia relations|
|People's Republic of China||1970||See People's Republic of China – Italy relations
In 2005, Italy and the People's Republic of China have celebrated the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. However, China's massive exports of textile and footwear into Italy are said to be a rising concern to Italy's economy and productivity.
|Philippines||1947||See Italy–Philippines relations
|South Korea||1956-11-24||See Italy – South Korea relations|
- List of diplomatic missions in Italy
- List of diplomatic missions of Italy
- Treaty of Osimo
- Treaty of Rapallo
- Visa requirements for Italian citizens
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- Arbëreshë people
- Belarussian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Russian only)
- Italian embassy in Minsk (in Italian and Russian only)
- Belgian embassy in Rome (in Dutch, French and Italian only)
- Italian embassy in Brussels
- Italian general consulate in Charleroi
- Italian general consulate in Liège (in French and Italian only)
- Italian consulate in Genk (in Dutch and Italian only)
- Italian consulate in Mons (in French and Italian only)
- Bulgarian general consulate in Milan
- Bulgarian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Sofia.
- Italian embassy in Nicosia
- Czech embassy in Rome
- Czech general consulate in Milan
- Italian embassy in Prague
- Estonian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Tallinn
- Italian Embassy in Helsinki
- Finnish Embassy in Rome
- Hungarian embassy in Rome (in Hungarian and Italian only)
- Hungarian general consulate in Milan (in Hungarian and Italian only)
- Italian embassy in Budapest (in Hungarian and Italian only)
- Icelandic embassy in Paris (also accredited to Italy)
- Italian embassy in Oslo (also accredited to Iceland)
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- Italian embassy in Riga
- Latvian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Vilnius
- Lithuanian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Luxembourg City (in French and Italian only)
- Luxembourg embassy in Rome (in Italian only)
- Dutch representations in Italy
- Dutch embassy in Rome (in Dutch and Italian only)
- Dutch general consulate in Milan(in Dutch and Italian only)
- Italian embassy in The Hague (in Dutch and Italian only)
- Italian general consulate in Amsterdam (in Dutch and Italian only)
- Italian embassy in Warsaw
- Poland embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Bucharest
- Romanian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Romanian only)
- Italy, Russia sign 'protocol of cooperation' - Pravda.Ru
- Italian embassy in Belgrade (in Italian and Serbian only)
- Italian embassy in Kiev (in Italian and Ukrainian only)
- Ukrainian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Ukrainian only)
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- Bilateral Relations British Embassy, Italy
- Canadian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Ottawa
- Italian general consulates in Toronto
- Italian general consulates in Vancouver
- Italian embassy in Asuncion
- Paraguay embassy in Rome (in Spanish only)
- Italian embassy in Lima (in Italian and Spanish only)
- Peruvian embassy in Rome (in Italian and Spanish only)
- Peruvian general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Spanish only)
- Peruvian general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Spanish only)
- Italian embassy in Montevideo (in Italian and Spanish only)
- Italy remains top trading partner of Iran in EU
- Italian general consulates in West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem
- Italian embassy in Tel Aviv
- Israeli embassy in Rome (in Italian only)
- (Italian) Lebanese Embassy in Italy
- Italian embassy in Tripoli
- Italian embassy in Pretoria
- Italian consulate in Cape Town
- South African embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Tunis (in French and Italian only)
- Italian embassy in Ankara
- Turkish embassy in Rome
- Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Italy
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- Embassy of Italy in Kabul
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- Armenian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Yerevan
- Australian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Canberra
- Italian general consulate in Sydney
- Italian general consulate in Perth
- Azerbaijani embassy in Italy
- Italian embassy in Azerbaijan
- Georgian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Tbilissi
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- Italian embassy in Tokyo (in Italian and Japanese only)
- Italian general consulate in Osaka
- Japanese embassy in Rome (in Italian and Japanese only)
- Japanese general consulate in Milan (in Italian and Japanese only)
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- Italian embassy in Wellington
- New Zealand embassy in Rome
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- Italian embassy in Bangkok
- Thai embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Hanoi
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