The Italian naval ship Francesco Morosini arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam today. The ship is on a 5-month
The Italian naval ship Francesco Morosini arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam today.
The ship is on a 5-month tour of the Indo-Pacific region, where it is set to visit 14 ports and trade shows, including the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia later this month.
Italy has begun actively engaging its Indo-Pacific partners since the election of far-right PM Giorgia Meloni last October. Last December, the UK, Italy, and Japan announced plans to jointly develop a next-generation fighter aircraft to rival those of China and Russia. This was followed by a January meeting between Japanese PM Kishida Fumio and Meloni in Rome, in which they upgraded Italy and Japan’s diplomatic relations to a strategic partnership and announced the creation of a bilateral defense consultation pact.
The Morosini’s tour demonstrates Italy’s commitment to expanding its military involvement in the region and increases the likelihood that other Indo-Pacific nations like India will cooperate with Italy on defense matters in the coming months. Italy’s defense relationship with Japan will likely deepen in the coming years, which may lead to more joint military exercises and technology collaborations and deeper intelligence sharing. However, Italy’s foreign policy shift will likely antagonize Russia and China and may permanently increase their hostility towards Italy.