17:47 GMT +320 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that Italy would work with Boris Johnson on ensuring orderly Brexit and keeping the United Kingdom as an important and reliable partner of the European Union.

    "We will work with Boris Johnson in order to keep the UK an important and reliable partner for the European Union even after Brexit. The objective remains to guarantee an orderly exit of the United Kingdom from the EU and to work together in the future with the aim of guaranteeing the prosperity of all European citizens," Conte said on Facebook.

    Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming the new leader of the UK Conservative Party and subsequent appointment as the country's new prime minister due the next day.

    "I congratulate Boris Johnson and I am looking forward to a good cooperation. Our countries should remain close friends in the future," Merkel was quoted as saying by government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer on Twitter.

    Johnson, a staunch Brexiteer and former mayor of London, beat Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt two to one to win the Conservative leadership contest and is expected to take over from Theresa May on Wednesday.


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