PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron and new Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte meet Friday amid tensions between the two countries over migration.
Conte, who heads a populist government, will have a working lunch with the pro-European Macron at the Elysee palace. They will then hold a joint news conference.
Macron’s office said the discussions will focus on migrant-related issues and other major European topics ahead of an EU summit at the end of the month.
A feud was triggered this week by Macron’s tough assessment of Italy’s decision to shut its ports to a rescue ship carrying 629 migrants – he called the Italian government’s behavior “irresponsible.”
Both leaders agreed Thursday to maintain the planned meeting after a phone call they described as cordial.
Macron said he never “meant to offend” Italy.