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Thu 18 Sep 2014 02:03 PM

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ISIS threat 'will affect region's economy'

The Italian ambassador to Saudi Arabia has warned if ISIS is not contained soon, investors will be turned off the Middle East

ISIS threat 'will affect region's economy'

The continued spread of ISIS could turn off foreign investors in the Middle East, Italy’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia has said.

“I hope this phenomenon will disappear as soon as possible, because it can affect the region’s economy if the situation lasts for another year,” Mario Boffo told Arab News.

“Investors will be scared to come not only to Saudi Arabia but also other countries in the region.”

Boffo was speaking ahead of a 25-member Italian trade delegation to the kingdom.

The threat of ISIS comes as many Arab states, particularly in the GCC, are spending billions of dollars on infrastructure projects that require international labour and in some cases expertise.

Italy has joined a US-led coalition planning to respond to ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE also have pledged support, which does not include troops on the ground.

“This coalition is very important. We want to show the world that it includes leaders from the West and the Middle East,” Boffo said.

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