Biden hosts Italian Prime Minister Meloni at White House for talks

Biden hosts Italian Prime Minister Meloni at White House for talks

US president lauds Italian premier’s 'strong' support for Ukraine during meeting

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden hosted his Italian counterpart, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, at the White House on Thursday for bilateral talks.

Biden thanked Meloni for her "strong" support of Ukraine, saying Meloni has maintained "very strong support defending against Russian atrocities."

"It's not just a war. Russia is committing atrocities," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "I want to thank the Italian people for supporting you and supporting Ukraine. It makes a big difference.”

Meloni said in the wake of Russia's February 2022 war on Ukraine, "Western nations have shown that they can on each other much more than some have believed."

"Moreover, after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, all together we decided to defend the international law and I'm proud that Italy, from the beginning, played its part in it," she said. "Supporting Ukraine means defending the peaceful coexistence of people and states everywhere in the world."

In addition to continued efforts to maintain cooperation on Ukraine, the leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of issues, including increasingly extreme weather patterns caused by climate change, bilateral trade and defense cooperation, according to the White House.

Italy hosts 30,000 American troops, and Defense Department employees and their families on five bases. Italy is the second largest host of American forces in Europe. Germany hosts the largest with more than 35,000 troops.

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