A week after the elections in Italy, which were won by Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy Party, Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday morning issued a statement on the elections.
"Israel congratulates the people of Italy on the end of the election campaign and looks forward to continued cooperation and friendship with the government that will be established and the Italian people, with an emphasis on the areas of the economy, energy, water, innovation and cyber - as well as in the joint fight against anti-Semitism and the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust," said Foreign Ministry spokperson Emmanuel Nahshon.
He added that "Italy is an important friend of Israel."
The Brothers of Italy party is considered a far-right party and has drawn accusations of facism and semi-facism, though it suspended a candidate who had praised Hitler just a few weeks ago.
Meloni herself has made several controversial statements, accusing Israel of carrying out "another massacre of children in Gaza” during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, but has attempted to position herself as a more pro-Israel candidate in the recent elections.
Two weeks ago, she told the Israel Hayom newspaper that “Israel represents the only fully-fledged democracy in the broader Middle East, and we defend without any reservations its right to exist and live in security. I believe that the existence of the State of Israel is vital, and Fratelli d’Italia will make every effort to invest in greater cooperation between our countries.”