France regrets cancellation of Italian finance minister's visit

Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria attends as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (unseen) speaks during his first session at the Lower House of the Parliament in Rome, Italy, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s Finance Ministry hoped to shortly reschedule a meeting with Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria that was canceled in the midst of a row over immigration, a French government source said.

“The visit was canceled at Italy’s request, and we regret it,” the French source said, adding France had a lot of ground to cover with newly-appointed Tria. “We hope this meeting can take place very soon.

Tria was due to meet French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in Paris later on Wednesday. Earlier in the day Italy’s foreign ministry summoned the French ambassador over remarks made by French President Emmanuel Macron condemning Rome’s decision to close its ports to humanitarian rescue ships.

Reporting by Myriam Rivet, Writing by Sarah White