France recalls ambassador to Italy citing "unprecedented" attacks

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-07 23:38:01|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

PARIS, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- France has recalled its ambassador to Rome following "repeated, baseless attacks" from Italian officials, calling on Rome to act to "return to a friendly relationship based on mutual respect," the French Foreign Ministry said here on Thursday.

"France has been, for several months, the target of repeated, baseless attacks and outrageous statements. ... (This is) unprecedented since the end of the war," the ministry said in a statement.

Accordingly, "the French government has decided to recall the French ambassador to Italy for consultations," it said.

Traditionally close allies, France and Italy saw their relations worsen after the far-right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement came to power and formed a coalition government in Italy last June.

Since then, Italian politicians have engaged in a war of words taking aim at the French president, a harsh advocate of liberalism.

On Wednesday, Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio met with the "Yellow Vest" movement's representatives and candidates on its list for European Parliament elections in May.

He tweeted "the winds of change have crossed the Alps."

"All of these actions are creating a serious situation, which is raising questions about the Italian government's intentions towards France," the French ministry said, adding that "having disagreements is one thing, but manipulating the relationship for electoral aims is another. The campaign for the European elections can not justify a lack of respect for each people," it added.