Italy's Meloni slams 'inappropriate' French-German dinner with Zelensky

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Italy's Meloni slams 'inappropriate' French-German dinner with Zelensky
French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola at an EU summit on Thursday, February 9th. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said a late-night dinner meeting in Paris between Macron, Scholz and Ukraine’s leader was 'inappropriate'.


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Friday again criticised France's decision to invite Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky to Paris earlier in the week, where she said other European
leaders were "missing".

"Had I been invited to the Elysee Palace for the meeting with Zelensky, I would have advised (them) not to hold this meeting," Meloni told journalists at a press conference following the EU summit in Brussels.

"Because when it comes to Ukraine, what interests us above everything else is to give a message of unity" within the European Union, said Meloni.


On Thursday, the Italian premier criticised as "inappropriate" French President Emmanuel Macron's invitation to Zelensky to meet in Paris ahead of the EU summit in Brussels, which wrapped up Friday.

"In Paris, there were two European presidents, there were 25 missing," said Meloni on Friday.

READ ALSO: Italy’s government to continue sending weapons to Ukraine in 2023

Zelensky visited Britain and France on Wednesday and in Paris had a late dinner with Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Zelensky then headed with Macron to Brussels, where he greeted the European Parliament on Thursday.

Meloni and Zelensky were pictured shaking hands and embracing on Thursday as leaders gathered for the summit photo at the European Council meeting in Brussels.

It was the first time Meloni, who was sworn in as Italy's first woman premier in October, and Zelensky have met face-to-face.

Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a European leaders summit in Brussels on February 9th. (Photo by JOHANNA GERON / POOL / AFP)

Meloni and Zelensky were set to have bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit on Thursday, although Italian media reported that the bilaterals had been scrapped due to time contraints.

According to Italian media, Meloni did not appreciate being excluded.

Asked about Meloni's comments, Macron declined to comment specifically, but told journalists that "I wanted to receive him, President Zelensky, with Chancellor Scholz" due to Germany and France's "particular role" in the Ukraine situation, as partners in the Minsk accords.

He added that it was up to Zelensky himself to choose his schedule.

"What matters is that we are effective together and that we have a strategy that finds a way to a durable peace," Macron said.

Meloni's hard-right government clashed with Paris late last year over Rome's refusal to take in a migrant charity rescue ship, which instead went to a French port.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also