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ROME, April 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Italy has granted Italian citizenship to UK toddler Alfie Evans, opening a new road of hope for the child, Italian media is reporting. 

According to a statement issued this afternoon by the Italian government, the decision to grant Alfie Italian citizenship was made by the foreign minister, Angiolino Alfano, and by the interior minister, Marco Minnitti.

“The Italian government hopes that being an Italian citizen will allow for the child’s immediate transfer to Italy,” the statement reads. 

READ: World watches as Alfie Evans’ life hangs in the balance – live updates

According to La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, which has followed the story closely, the petition to grant little Alfie citizenship was made by the leader of a national conservative party in Italy, Giorgia Meloni.

Meloni said after the decision: “It’s one of those days that you remember that politics can make you do great things. As a mother, as an Italian and as a party president, I warmly thank  Prime Minister Gentiloni and the ministers Alfano and Minniti for having accepted my appeal and for having decided to grant Italian citizenship to Alfie Evans: this will open a window of opportunity to allow the child to come to Italy and be welcomed in one of our hospitals.”

The fact that Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship does not, however, automatically guarantee his transfer to Italy and will now depend on diplomatic efforts. 

“Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship, we await for the foreign minister to call Borris [sic] Johnson. Alfie belongs to Italy,” Thomas Evans wrote in a Facebook post following the decision. 

The removal of Alfie’s ventilator has been suspended until 6:30 p.m. Rome-time (5:30 p.m. London). Fr. Gabriel Brusco, an Italian priest living in London who administered the annointing of the sick to Alfie, is with him and his mother, Kate James, in the hospital room.

UPDATES: Thomas Evans posted a video on Facebook at 6:40p.m. (London-time) explaining that the Italian Ambassador to Great Britain is scheduled to have a conference call with Judge Anthony Hayden at 7:15 to request Alfie’s transfer to Rome. At a certain point in the video he shows a very alert and lively Alfie.