EU will stand united at G7, Italy included: Tusk

L-R: European Council President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pose for photographers as they meet at the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

MALBAIE, Quebec (Reuters) - European Union members of the Group of Seven, including Italy’s new Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte, will present a united front on all issues to be discussed at a G7 summit in Charlevoix, the chairman of EU leaders Donald Tusk said on Friday.

Conte appeared to break with the EU line during his inaugural speech in the Italian parliament this week when he called for a review of EU sanctions on Russia.

Just before the G7 summit, he said Russia should be invited to rejoin the group from which it was excluded in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea.

But Tusk said Italy would toe the EU line at the G7.

“This morning I had the first and very good, promising meeting with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and I am convinced that here at the G7 we will have a fully united European position on all issues. Including on Russia. I am not talking about details but about the more general common line,” Tusk said.

“We agreed also to meet him again, before our June European Council, in Rome.”

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Susan Thomas