DUSHANBE, April 30, Asia-Plus  -- A new Italian Ambassador to Tajikistan Giovanni Ricculi presented credentials to President Emomali Rahmon today.   

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Rahmon, Italian diplomat said that they had exchanged views on ways to expand bilateral cooperation between Italy and Tajikistan in various fields.  According to him, they also considered issues related to laying legal foundation of Italian-Tajik relationships.   

The ambassador reminded that bilateral negotiations with representatives of Tajikistan were held on sidelines of a special conference on the European Union strategy for Central Asia that was held in Rome in September 2007. 

He noted that Italy attaches significance to cooperation with Central Asia’s states and the conference had assisted to determine ways of expansion of cooperation with the Central Asian countries.   

Asked about priorities of bilateral cooperation and the possibility of Italy’s investing in free economic zones (FEZs) in Tajikistan, Mr. Ricculi noted that that issue had also been discussed during his meeting with President Rahmon.  “We outlined directions of economic cooperation and discussed prospects of participation of Italy in creation of FEZs,” Italian Ambassador said.   

Asked about role of Italy in the European Union strategy for Central Asia, he noted that Central Asia is a zone of strategic interests of the European Union.  Mr. Ricculi noted that they will take specific steps towards implementation of the strategy in future as well.  He added that they are interested in political stability in the region.