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11 Feb, 2019 16:39

Italy’s Salvini ‘ready’ to meet French counterpart amid spat

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday that he was ready to meet his French counterpart “this week” for talks following a spat which saw France recalling its ambassador from Rome. Ties between the two neighbors sunk to their lowest point since WWII last week after Paris recalled its envoy in protest at a string of jibes by Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, both senior figures in Italy’s populist government. On Friday, Salvini said he invited his French counterpart Christophe Castaner to Rome for talks, but in an unguarded moment later said he was going “to summon him” – prompting a dry rebuttal by the French minister, AFP reported. On Monday, Salvini said he was “ready to welcome him in Rome or to go to Paris, even this week.” The minister added: “I think that restoring good relations is fundamental, the earlier the better.”