Naval chief visits Italy, calls on counterpart

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KARACHI: Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, during an official visit to Italy, called on Italian Navy chief Admiral Valter Girardelli and Italian Naval Fleet Commander-In-Chief Admiral Donato Marzano in separate meetings.

Upon his arrival at Italian Naval Headquarters in Rome, the navy chief was received by his Italian counterpart Admiral Valter Girardelli. A ceremonial Guard with Military Honours was also presented to the naval chief on the occasion.

Later, during the meeting between Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Admiral Valter Girardelli, matters of mutual interest, including bilateral naval collaboration were dilated upon. Various avenues of cooperation between the two navies were also discussed. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi highlighted Pakistan’s commitment and contributions in the fight against terrorism including initiation of Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) against piracy and maritime terrorism. Admiral Valter Girardelli lauded the role and contributions of Pakistan Navy in maintaining peace and stability in the region. The call was followed by a brief given to Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Italian Navy’s operational regime and perspective on regional issues.

Subsequently, the chief of the naval staff called on Italian Naval Fleet Commander-In-Chief Admiral Donato Marzano. During discussions, matters of mutual interest, including maritime security and stability, counter-piracy operations, drug trafficking and various avenues to enhance interoperability between Pakistan and the Italian Navy, were pondered upon.

The chief of the naval staff also visited Staff College of Italian Navy at Venice and delivered a lecture to the student officers besides interacting with faculty and staff. During the lecture, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi apprised the participants regarding the geo-strategic situation of the Indian Ocean Region and the role of Pakistan for development of regional peace and security.

Earlier, the naval chief met Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy Nadeem Riyaz.

It is expected that the visit of the naval chief will further enhance and expand defence ties between the two countries in general and navies in particular.

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