Italy Moved By UAE's Support
Wam.ae: The Italian envoy to Abu Dhabi has said that Italy's government and people were "moved" by the sympathy and compassion shown by the UAE during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Ambassador Nicola Lener said that Italy was "deeply impressed" by the UAE initiative that saw the shipment of 10 tonnes of medical supplies to help Italian medics tackle COVID-19.
"This is true only for our Government, which expressed its gratitude in a call between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; but also to the Italian people, including the numerous Italian citizens living in the UAE, who were moved by the sympathy and the compassion shown by the UAE in this very difficult moment," Lener added.
"This important shipment comes together with the other expressions of support that we received over the last weeks," the Italian Ambassador continued, noting the call from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Lener went on to highlight other solidarity gestures, including the lighting of Burj Khalifa in Dubai with the colours of the Italian flag, and the "innumerable emails, WhatsApp messages, posts on social media from Emirati nationals and residents from all walks of life."
"All of them demonstrate how deeply rooted are the relations between our two countries," he added.
Lener stressed, "Italy has been among the first countries to be hit by the COVID-19 and so far one of the most affected by a health and economic emergency that is now global."
According to Italian ministry of health figures, the country has registered 135,586 coronavirus cases, with 17,127 deaths.
"We are glad, though, that our painful experience, with the unprecedented set of measures that we adopted to contain the virus, has served as a model for the rest of the world, including the UAE, and is helping to save lives," the Ambassador observed.
"According to some scientists, indeed, Italian responsible individual behaviours in respecting physical distancing prescriptions has so far allowed to save more than 38,000 lives in our country," Lener highlighted. "If similar behaviours are followed anywhere, many more lives will be spared."
The Italian envoy called on his fellow nationals in the UAE to "continue to respect the rules set by the authorities".
"Stay at home today and bring our tomorrow closer," Ambassador Lener concluded.