EU representative for the Gulf region is a former Italian foreign minister
EU representative for the Gulf region is a former Italian foreign minister

London: Luigi Di Maio, a former leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and former Italian foreign minister, has been suggested as the Special Representative of the European Union for the Gulf, sources said on Sunday. 

In a letter to the 27 member states, Josep Borrell, the Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, suggested Di Maio for the position. 

"Following very careful consideration, I consider that Mr. Luigi Di Maio is the best-suited candidate," Borrell wrote. 

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 "Mr. Luigi Di Maio has the necessary political profile at the international level for this role as the former foreign minister of Italy," he continued.

Borrell added that Di Maio's "wide contacts" with Gulf nations "will enable him to engage with the relevant actors at the appropriate level." 

The momentum of our improved engagement with the Gulf must be sustained. In order to implement our strategic partnership with Gulf partners, I therefore count on your support for Mr. Di Maio," he continued, recommending the appointment of Di Maio as the EU's Special Representative for the Gulf "for an initial period of 21 months," beginning on June 1, 2023, and lasting until February 28, 2025.

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The letter officially begins the hiring process, and, in accordance with sources familiar with the case, Di Maio's appointment is not anticipated to be approved at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

Each and every one of the 27 member states must ratify. The right-wing League labelled the decision as "shameful" on Sunday.

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Italians have cast their ballots, and League sources stated that they "have chosen and continue to choose the center-right, not the left or grillini" (the M5S, the party that Di Maio formerly belonged to and was founded by former comedian Beppe Grillo). 

"The indication from Brussels is shameful, an insult to Italy and to thousands of good diplomats," the sources continued.

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