Italian PM to meet Trump at the White House

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Rome, June 28 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s populist Premier Giuseppe Conte will visit the US next month where he is scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump in the White House on July 30, his office announced on Thursday.

“The visit will offer an opportunity to reaffirm the solidity and centrality of the ties of friendship and alliance between Italy and the US – on a bilateral and multilateral level,” said the statement announcing Conte’s visit.

“The two countries will deepen their cooperation, which is essential for international security and stability in the principal conflict zones including the Mediterranean, Iraq and Afghanistan,” it said.

“Italy and the US will also intensify their cooperation to promote mutual economic growth,” added the statement, which also alluded to the “deep historical and cultural ties” underlying bilateral relations.

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Conte and Trump will hold a private talks at the White House, which will be followed by a meeting attended by the Italian and US delegations, said the statement from Conte’s office.

At the contentious G7 summit earlier this month in Canada, Conte was the only leader to back Trump’s suggestion that Russia should be allowed to rejoin the exclusive club of the world’s most industrialised nations. Russia was ousted from the G7 in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea.

Trump has described Conte as “great” and “very strong on immigration, like I am.”

Conte, whose government was sworn in on June 1, had since then visited Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on migration and met France’s President Emanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, where migration was the focus of their discussions.

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–IANS/AKI

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