Algerian and Italian arms deals are currently in the works as Algeria continues to expand its defense spending, according to Arab World.
General Luciano Portolano, the Director of Armaments at the Italian Ministry of Defense, is currently on an official visit to Algiers, where he is engaging in discussions with Algerian government officials.
The war in Ukraine is responsible in more ways than one for Algeria’s new relations with Italy, especially on the arms side.
The recent move for Algeria to purchase Italian arms comes about from its huge dependency on Russian arms and worries that due to the Ukraine war, Moscow won’t be able to provide spare parts. It also stems from Algeria enjoying greater than normal profits from oil sales, due to crude oil being up on world markets.
However, Italian arms do not have much of a reputation on the battlefield. Ukrainian soldiers, for one, have been complaining about artillery rounds donated to their army by Rome as being under par and not even comparing to the WWII Russian equivalent. Geopolitics has a hand in the deal.
Portolano met with Major General Mohammed, Al-Saleh Benbisha, of Algeria’s Ministry of Defense on May 25th. This meeting marks a continuation of their previous discussions during the 12th session of the Algerian-Italian Joint Committee for Cooperation in the Field of Military Industry and Defense, which took place in March 2022. The Ministry of Defense emphasized that this meeting “constituted an opportunity to exchange views and enhance coordination and joint action between the armies of the two countries.”
This official visit by General Portolano follows a recent visit by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to Algeria in January. During this visit agreements were signed that Algeria would increase gas trade to Italy in the wake of shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.
According to President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, from 2021 to 2022, trade between the countries has doubled–from $8 billion to $16 billion.