French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met on Saturday at the Group of Seven nations summit seeking to turn the page after a French minister accused Rome of mishandling the influx of migrants.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in early May that Meloni’s right-wing government had been unable to solve the migration problems on which she was elected and that she had lied to voters that she could end the migrant crisis.
That prompted demands by Rome for an apology.
On Saturday, the two leaders had a 45-minute meeting at the G7. The two looked relaxed and Macron appeared to ask Meloni about the floods which hit the north of her country this week.
She is set to leave the summit in Hiroshima a day earlier to lead the response, sources said.
Briefing reporters, a French presidential official said the two leaders had spoken about Ukraine, but also migration and Tunisia.
“There was a widespread discussion that showed our convergence of views on important questions, notably Ukraine, but also Tunisia,” the official said.
The two agreed that Tunisia needed financial support to stabilise the situation to contain migrant flows northwards, the official said.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz walk to a flower wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims in the Peace Memorial Park as part of the G7 Hiroshima Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, 19 May 2023. The G7 Hiroshima Summit will be held from 19 to 21 May 2023.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, U.S. President Joe Biden, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participate in a family photo with G7 leaders before their working lunch meeting on economic security during the G7 summit, at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima, Japan, May 20, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool
U.S. President Joe Biden, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel, Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend a working dinner session during G7 leaders’ summit in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima prefecture, western Japan May 19, 2023, in this handout photo released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS
France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni pose for a family photo as they attend the European leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Yves Herman
France’s President Emmanuel Macron, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attend the European leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Yves Herman