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    French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the residence of French President Fort Bregancon.

    Macron to Meet Italian President, Head of New Cabinet in Rome on Wednesday

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Rome on Wednesday to become the first foreign leader to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and PM Giuseppe Conte after the creation of a new government in Italy following the collapse of a parliamentary coalition between the parties, Five Star Movement and Lega.

    The relationship between Macron and the last Italian government was marked by mutual animosity and a lack of common ground. The main point of contention between the two governments was the issue of migration, specifically recent waves of migrants from Africa and the Middle East.

    Under the previous interior minister and Lega's leader, Matteo Salvini, Italy adopted a restrictionist migration policy, closing its ports to migrant-carrying vessels, prosecuting members of non-governmental organisations that specialised on picking up migrant boats stranded in the Mediterranean, accusing them of human trafficking, which prompted criticism from the French president.

    Italian border police officers escort sub Saharan men on their way to a relocation center, after arriving in the Golfo Azzurro rescue vessel at the port of Augusta, in Sicily, Italy, with hundreds of migrants aboard, rescued by members of Proactive Open Arms NGO, on Friday, June 23, 2017
    © AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti
    Italian border police officers escort sub Saharan men on their way to a relocation center, after arriving in the Golfo Azzurro rescue vessel at the port of Augusta, in Sicily, Italy, with hundreds of migrants aboard, rescued by members of Proactive Open Arms NGO, on Friday, June 23, 2017

    Salvini, in return, accused Macron of trying to impose his will on Italy, lambasting his migration initiatives, including a joint Franco-German plan to resettle incoming migrants throughout the European Union.

    Since Salvini's tenure as interior minister is over due to a recent change in Italy's political landscape, there is an opportunity to mend relations between the two countries, which is what this visit will likely be about.

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    Tags:
    Sergio Mattarella, Giuseppe Conte, Italy, France, Emmanuel Macron
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