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Obama to roll out red carpet for Renzi next month

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Obama to roll out red carpet for Renzi next month
The two leaders during Renzi's last visit to the White House. Photo: Jim White/AFP
08:59 CEST+02:00
US President Barack Obama will receive Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on October 18 at the White House for talks focusing on the future of Europe, press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
The official visit "will be an opportunity to recognize the depth and breadth of our relationship with Italy and exchange views on the future of Europe," Earnest said.
 
Describing Italy as "one of our closest and strongest allies," Earnest said the two leaders will also discuss climate change and the refugee crisis affecting southern Europe.
 
At the end of the day, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, at a state dinner at the White House.
 
The visit will be the fifth time Renzi has been to the US since becoming Prime Minister, and the second time he has been received at the White House, the first time being in April 2015.
 
The US and Italy are both closely involved in Libya, which has been in a state of chaos since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011. The trouble in the North African country has exacerbated the refugee crisis in Italy.
 
Italy is also a strong advocate of the troubled TTIP Transatlantic trade and investment agreement, which is has come under attack in Germany and France and is facing increasing scepticism in the US.
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