Italian navy ship on goodwill visit

Rear Admiral Paolo Treu and Paola Amadei, Ambassador of Italy, aboard the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour, and top, a fighter aircraft on the carrier. Photo - Sarah MacDonald/Times of Oman

Muscat: The Embassy of Italy in Oman hosted an event to highlight Italian designs and humanitarian work aboard the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour, which docked at Port Sultan Qaboos on Sunday evening. The Cavour, sailing under the Commander of the 30th Italian Naval Group Rear Admiral Paolo Treu, has been touring around the GCC states and will soon embark on a circumnavigation of Africa, where it will make numerous stops to provide medical care to the children.

Here in Muscat, Paola Amadei, Ambassador of Italy, welcomed the guests on board, where they sampled Italian food and toured an exhibition, called A Moving Country, of Italian products ranging from furniture to weaponry, which filled one of the carrier's hangars.

"It's been great! It's a wonderful way to showcase Italian products and culture. But, being a sailor, I also admire the Omani's maritime vocation and the capability to build great ships," Rear Admiral Paolo Treu told the Times of Oman.

Counter piracy missions
The visit by Cavour will offer the opportunity to further boost the existing relationship between the Omani and Italian navies, allowing exchange of experiences and ideas, and better knowledge about respective training and operational capabilities. Cooperation between the two navies has been benefiting from an increase in the number of visits to the ports of Salalah and Muscat by the Italian Navy ships, which are involved in counter piracy missions in the Indian Ocean.

For the Cavour's crew, the journey, which included stops in Jeddah, Salalah, Kuwait City, Manama, Doha and Abu Dhabi, has been an opportunity to see how developed the GCC countries are, and to enjoy the hospitality of the local people.

The Cavour is also equipped with a small hospital and a number of volunteer doctors who perform free operations for children as part of Operation Smile, an international non-profit organisation that offers free surgery to fix cleft lips and cleft palates, and surgeries to restore sight to blind children. It will offer these surgeries as it continues its journey around Africa.

While in Muscat, Rear Admiral Paolo Treu joined Paola Amadei to welcome guests to a concert by Italian Giuseppe De'Ligia at Al Bustan Palace Hotel last night.


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