What is it about?

By the early 1980 the Mediterranean was one of the areas in which Italy’s ambitious foreign policy was most active. In fact, in 1982-1983 Italy was part of the Multi-National Force, led by the US, which tried to enforce a peace in a Lebanon torn by civil war and Israeli military intervention. The Italian government though was more cautious when it came to Libya, despite it being perceived by the US as a rogue state; in 1986 Craxi even informed Gaddafi of the US plan to bomb Tripoli. The purpose of this paper is to analyze Italian Mediterranean policy in the early 1980s mainly through the documents held in the National Archives in London.

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Why is it important?

Italy’s role and presence in the Mediterranean and the Middle East has always been the object of great attention in the United Kingdom because of the considerable economic, political and strategic interests that existed. This UK attention increased in the first half of the 1980s after the entry of the PSI into the Italian government with the so-called Pentapartito.


This article then aims to shed light on some key moments and episodes in Italian history during this period, focusing on the importance of the Mediterranean.

Silvio Labbate
Universita del Salento

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This page is a summary of: Italian Mediterranean Policy in the Early 1980s in the Light of National Archive Documents, The International History Review, September 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2019.1658615.
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