The Italian Defense Minister, Lorenzo Guerini, warned that NATO would face direct threats due to the fragility of the Middle East region and the difficulties in some of North Africa and the Sahel regions, saying that such threats exist in what's happening in Libya now.

Guerini said that Rome had asked NATO not to ignore the threats that could come from the south, stressing that Euro-Atlantic security was indivisible, Italian website Decode 39 reported on Monday.

He stressed that Italy has been looking with interest for some time at Africa, pointing to the intricate situation in Libya, the fragility of some countries in the sub-Saharan region, the presence of terrorist groups, the signs of war in the Horn of Africa and the problem of pirates.

Guerini also indicated that the Mediterranean is one of the most heavily guarded seas, enumerating the security operations in there, such as NATO's Operation Sea Guard, the European Operation IRINI to monitor the arms embargo on Libya, and the various national operations and training activities on a bilateral and multilateral basis.

He stressed that the focus on the war in Ukraine should not lead to ignoring threats that could also come from other directions, including the southern flank.