June 14, 2018 / 8:19 AM / 4 months ago

Italy PM confirms meeting with France's Macron: statement

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday confirmed his planned Friday meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, a statement said, after a conciliatory phone call between the two politicians.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the final news conference of the G7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Conte had considered pushing back the visit amid a diplomatic spat that broke out with France after Italy closed its ports to a humanitarian migrant rescue ship earlier this week. Macron and Conte spoke by telephone on Thursday evening, a statement said.

“President Macron underscored that he did not say anything that was meant to offend Italy or the Italian people,” a statement from the Italian prime minister’s office said.

“Macron and Conte agreed that with the end-June European Union summit looming, it is necessary that new initiatives are discussed together.”

Reporting by Steve Scherer and Massimiliano Di Giorgio, editing by Francesca Landini

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