President Trump said Thursday he wants to the make the U.S.-Italian relationship “even more productive” by forging fairer trade deals and having Italy contribute more to common national defense.
“Italy is a spectacular place; I know it well,” Trump said after meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
The Italian leader vowed to help the United States combat terrorist threats from the Islamic State – including through contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s “collective security” – and to seek a peaceful solution to the civil war in Syria. “We are going through a difficult time,” he said.
The two leaders spoke with reporters after a meeting at the White House that focused on cooperation within NATO, counterterrorism, and an upcoming international economic summit to be held in Italy.
As is his habit with foreign visitors, Trump greeted Gentiloni at the door of the West Wing ahead of their meeting.
Before his trip to the White House, Gentiloni spoke to a Washington think tank and said that countries must work together promote security in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, a region that has seen overwhelming refugee flows from war-torn countries such as Syria, religious violence, and terrorist threats against Western targets.
“Italy is committed to tackle the root causes of these challenges, but we have to do it all together,” Gentiloni told the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
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SOURCE: USA Today, David Jackson