Trump commends Italy’s strict stance on immigration
President Trump has shown his approval of Italy’s handling of immigration, as he welcomes their new Prime Minister, Giussepe Conte, to the White House, where both leaders shall discuss trade and the military.
At the start of the meeting with Italy’s new PM, who was sworn into office two months earlier, Trump stated that the country’s new government “has taken a very firm stance on the border” according to Australian website news.com.au
The President urged other European countries to follow Italy’s example on immigration issues.
“I agree very much what you’re doing with respect to migration, illegal immigration and even legal immigration,” Trump told PM Conte while in the Oval Office.
The meeting takes place after a recent standoff over the private aid boat owned by the NGO SOS Méditerranée, which carried over 600 migrants that were rescued at sea. Italy and Malta both refused to allow the boat to dock in their ports. After which, the migrant filled ship set sail to Spain, as the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, offered her city as a destination for the migrants to set foot on shore.
Under Conte’s new ‘populist’ government, Italy has pushed or the European Union to accept the tens of thousands of migrants coming across the Mediterranean every year. As Italy no longers desires to carry this burden on its own.
Mr. Conte leads a Eurosceptic coalition of the right-wing ‘Lega Nord’ and the ‘5-Star Movement´ which self identifies as anti-establishment.
The US president used the meeting with Mr Conte as an opportunity to his restate threats of a government shutdown, as a mean to secure funding for border security, including his ambitious but controversial plan for a wall at the US-Mexican border.
“I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” Trump said.
Adding its time his country gets border security. When asked about specific requirements Trump said he had no red line, saying “I’ll always leave room for negotiation”
President Trump noted the US trade deficit with EU member Italy, and said he is confident that this will be straightened out quickly. The White House also noted Italy’s importance as a NATO ally and key partner to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In brief remarks Mr Conte thanked the president for his warm hospitality, while Trump responded that the Italian PM will always be treated warmly.