Trump to meet Italian premier ahead of G-7 meeting in Italy

Mr. Trump's wrangling on foreign policy issues overseas comes amid debate in the US over his priorities at home.

"Yes, a strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States", Trump told reporters at a joint news conference with Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

"The way to do that is to make arguments in a respectful fashion, based on facts, and work constructively and collaboratively with our neighbours", said the Liberal leader.

Trudeau offered that reply to the USA president's latest anti-Canada trade tirade, one in which Trump savaged Canada for creating a new lower-priced classification of milk product that he argues is hurting US producers.

Trump's presence was strongly felt during Gentiloni's visit, as is becoming nearly routine with most of Trudeau's worldwide interactions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni are on Parliament Hill discussing the upcoming G7 summit in Italy and a broad range of global issues.

Gentiloni, who has been Italy's premier since December, stressed the need for burden-sharing in the refugee crisis, given Italy's proximity to Libya, where large numbers of foreigners undertake a risky voyage across the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

They took pains not to offend the man most closely associated with the growing popularity of protectionist trade measures and closed borders: Trump.

Trump's presence was strongly felt during the visit, as is becoming nearly routine with most of Trudeau's worldwide interactions. Gentiloni insisted he wasn't singling out the US president - even though he appeared to drop hints in that direction from the moment of his first public handshake with Trudeau.

Diplomats and analysts who closely follow developments in Libya said it was not entirely clear whether the president was signalling a break from the US's strong support of the Tripoli government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, or whether he was simply stating that he did not envisage the USA taking an active military role in the country. And that's a very, very awful thing that's going on in the world today.

Earlier Friday, at the start of his meeting in Trudeau's office, Gentiloni said Canada and Italy share a common, pro-trade world view.

"I think we'll get both", he said.

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U.S. President Donald Trump, who once celebrated Britain's decision to leave the European Union, insisted Thursday, March 20 that he wants the bloc to remain strong, AFP reports. The people of France will not take much more of this.

Gentiloni said that he hoped the results of Sunday's French presidential election "strengthen European Union prospects".

Even as Trump appeared to be adopting a position in which the U.S. views Libya as piece of a broader regional counter-terrorism strategy - without engaging in efforts at political reconciliation - Russian Federation had adopted a "more sophisticated strategy", Toaldo said. They want to change how we live.

Trudeau declined to answer a question on the topic.

The remarks represented the first time since he became president that Trump had commented publicly on the situation in Libya, a country that is the main departure point for hundreds of thousands of migrants heading to Europe from Africa and the Middle East and is locked in civil strife between warring political factions and tribes. Trump will debut at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' summit in Brussels a day ahead of the G7 gathering.

And, with a funding deadline looming to keep the government running, Trump said it was possible Congress would manage to accomplish it all next week or "shortly thereafter".

Trump favors bilateral trade deals and has used trade as a tool for pressuring countries to do more on national security matters.

"We are in a role everywhere", Trump said, adding that the US's priority in Libya and Iraq was to focus on counter-terrorism efforts to target Isis. Italy is also a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the military alliance to which Trump says the US contributes more than it receives. However Trudeau has said Canada is already doing its fair share.

For Canada, next month's G7 will serve as a handover for next year, when its turn comes to host the gathering.

"On a broad range of things, we find ourselves tremendously aligned", Trudeau said during a brief photo op.

  • Leroy Wright