Macron, Meloni focus on France-Italy cooperation

BRUSSELS: French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met on Thursday to debate “alternatives for cooperation” in migration, business and area, the French presidency mentioned.

The 2 leaders, who met on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels, additionally talked about “the necessity to proceed to work for European sovereignty” in industrial coverage and decarbonisation.

In addition they reaffirmed “their dedication to assist Ukraine within the face of Russian aggression and welcomed the settlement reached to supply the Ukrainians with the ammunition and missiles they want because of European business”, the assertion mentioned.

The leaders have been assembly for the second time since Meloni took workplace final October as the top of Italy’s most right-wing authorities in many years.

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Migration coverage has been a sticking level between the 2 international locations since a November 2022 incident that noticed Meloni refuse to permit a humanitarian ship carrying 230 migrants to dock in Italy.

The ship was allowed to dock in France, however Paris denounced Rome’s “unacceptable” behaviour and suspended plans to obtain 3,500 migrants from Italy.

On the time, Meloni denounced France’s response as “aggressive” and “unjustified”.

In February, she slammed Macron’s invitation to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to go to Paris on the eve of a European summit as “inappropriate”.

Macron went on to welcome Zelensky to the Elysee Palace together with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with Italian media reporting that Meloni had been upset that she was not invited.

European leaders permitted on Monday the allocation of two billion euros to finance joint purchases of artillery ammunition that Ukraine desperately must counter the Russian offensive.

France and Italy will ship a medium-range ground-to-air defence system to Ukraine to assist it address Russian drone, missile and plane assaults.