Italy's Salvini says happy to meet Macron to discuss diplomatic row

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini gestures as he attends a news conference in Rome, Italy, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government does not want to fall out with France, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Thursday, adding he would be happy to meet French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss recent tensions.

Responding to a decision by France to recall its ambassador to Italy, Salvini said in a statement he wanted to reset relations with Paris, but that France needed to address three “fundamental” issues.

He said the French police had to stop pushing migrants back into Italy and stop carrying out lengthy border checks that was blocking traffic at the frontier. Paris must also hand over around 15 Italian leftist militants who have taken refuge in France in recent decades.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer