The Italy-France relationship is bound by age-old ties, and the countries need to cooperate on many issues, Premier Giorgia Meloni told President Emmanuel Macron in Paris Tuesday. Macron said the two countries had a “unique rapport” with many links.
Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni told the press at the Elysée Palace together with Emmanel Macron before their bilateral talks, “Italy and France are two linked nations, central and protagonists in the EU, which particularly need to dialogue at a time like this because our common interests are many and converging”.
Meloni was in Paris also to promote Rome’s bid for Expo 2030.
Macron said the Italy-France friendship is stronger than disagreements, referring to a string of spats mainly over migrant issues.
Evoking the signing of the Quirinale Treaty that sealed bilateral friendship, Macron hailed the “links between our societies, our economies, our universities, our artists, which keep this unique rapport alive every day”.
He said, “It is this friendship that interests me above all, Madame Premier, which enables us to go through controversy, and disagreements, but always in a framework that is respectful, because it is part of a history that is greater and deeper than us”.
In the most recent spat between the two countries, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that Meloni is incapable of resolving Italy’s migration problems. He characterised Meloni as a far-right leader unable to solve the migrant problems she had campaigned on when she scored a crushing general election win in September.
Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani cancelled a trip to Paris to meet with his French counterpart in protest.
That followed a November row over a migrant rescue ship that ended up in France after Italy refused it entry. Then, Stephane Sejourne , the secretary general of Macron’s Renaissance party, was recently quoted by daily newspaper Le Figaro as calling Meloni’s migration policies “inhuman” and “incompetent”.
He was quoted as saying “Meloni does lots of rabble-rousing on illegal immigration: her policies are unjust, inhuman and ineffective”.
Meloni said the statements did not affect bilateral ties as they were meant for internal consumption.