Conte's Paris visit on, Macron 'never sought to offend Italy'

Meeting follows tension over French criticism on Aquarius case

(ANSA) - Rome, June 14 - Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte will visit Paris on Friday and have lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron, the Italia government said Thursday after the two leaders spoke on the telephone overnight.
    The planned visit had looked in danger of being scrubbed after Macron was quoted as calling Rome's refusal to let the migrant-rescue ship Aquarius dock in an Italian port at the weekend cynical and irresponsible.
    Interior Minister Matteo Salvini demanded an apology and said Conte would be right to cancel the visit unless this was forthcoming. During the phone call, Macron "stressed that he never said any expression aimed at offending Italy and the Italian people," said a statement by the Italian premier's office. "The president of the (French) republic recalled that he has always defended the need for greater European solidarity towards Italy".
   

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