French ambassador to return to Rome on Friday: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-15 19:17:56|Editor: Xiaoxia
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PARIS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The French ambassador to Italy, recalled this month in response to a verbal attack by Italian politicians, will return to Rome on Friday, said a French minister.

"He returns to Rome today," the European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said, adding that "Italy needs France, so let's work together."

"The President of the Italian Republic (Segio Mattarella) called President Macron, they talked to each other and expressed the extent to which the friendship between France and Italy was important and how the two countries needed one another," Loiseau told RTL radio.

On Feb. 7, France recalled its ambassador, the first withdrawal of a French envoy to Rome since World War II, after what it described as "repeated accusations, baseless attacks, outrageous statements" from Italian officials.

Weeks ago, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio expressed his support for the "Yellow Vest" protesters in France and claimed that France is fuelling Europe's migrant crisis through its "neocolonialist" policies in Africa. Another Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the right-wing League party, said he wants France to extradite Italian terrorist fugitives and to stop pushing migrants back across its border into Italy.

Traditionally close allies, Paris and Rome 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.