Italy’s summit with African countries to take place on Jan. 28-29

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will host in late January the summit with African nations it recently decided to postpone in the wake of the latest flare-up of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Friday.

“The Italy-Africa conference is scheduled for January 28-29,” Meloni said after a cabinet meeting in Rome which approved initial steps towards an energy cooperation plan that Italy wants to offer to African countries.

The scheme, known as the “Mattei plan” and named after Enrico Mattei, founder of state-controlled energy group Eni, is expected to lay the ground for cooperation beyond energy.

Italy will take over the presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) nations in 2024 and has pledged to make Africa a central theme while it is at the helm.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini, editing by Federico Maccioni)