President Biden will host Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House on July 27, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Wednesday.
The visit to the White House is the first since Meloni, the head of a right-wing governing coalition, took office in October.
The meeting between the two will be to “reaffirm the strong relationship between the United States and Italy,” according to Jean-Pierre.
“They will discuss our common strategic interests, including our shared commitment to continue supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression, developments in North Africa, and closer transatlantic coordination regarding the People’s Republic of China,” she said.
Italy is set to take the Group of Seven (G7) presidency role in 2024. Biden and Meloni are currently together at the NATO summit in Vilnius.
The two had their first meeting since Meloni took office on the margins of the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November.
Biden in October had expressed concern over Meloni’s election, seeing her victory as a warning to the U.S. of the possibility of far-right leadership. Meloni, who is the first female prime minister of Italy, is a member of the conservative Brothers of Italy party that has been tied to neofascism.
When Meloni was sworn in in October, Biden congratulated her in a statement. Her and the hard-right coalition were elected to the majority in the Italian Parliament in September.
The White House had stressed that Italy is a NATO ally, G7 partner and member of the European Union when pressed on the Italian elections when they first occurred.
Source: The Hill