Italy government to discuss security of key networks, Huawei in 5G: sources

The Huawei logo is seen at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, China, September 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government will meet on Thursday to discuss the best ways to strengthen the security of strategic networks, two sources said, as the United States mounts pressure on Rome to exclude China’s Huawei from its 5G infrastructures.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has called senior coalition figures including the economy and industry ministers for a meeting on the matter, the government sources said. The meeting is expected to start at 6.30 p.m. (1630 GMT)

The ministers will discuss whether to prevent telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies from playing a key role in building the nation’s 5G network, one of the sources said.

The other source said the meeting would be “a broad discussion on how to increase the protection of all strategic networks,” and would not specifically focus on Huawei.

The prime minister’s office declined to give any comment on the meeting.

The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid using Huawei equipment in their next generation networks, saying the company could pose a security risk. Huawei rejects those charges.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Gavin Jones, editing by Crispian Balmer