Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani canceled a trip to Paris on Thursday, saying the French interior minister had insulted Italy with comments highly critical of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
French minister Gérald Darmanin earlier told RMC radio that Meloni was “incapable of solving the immigration problems for which she was elected” and accused her of “lying” to voters that she could end a crisis over the growing number of immigrant boats.
News of his comments arrived as Tajani was preparing to fly to Paris to meet his French counterpart – a trip aimed in part at improving relations between the two European Union countries, which have become increasingly fragile.
France quickly issued a communique in which it sought to reassure Rome of its willingness to work closely with Italy, but it was not enough to persuade Tajani to take the plane.
“The insults to the government and to Italy uttered by Minister @GDarmanin are unacceptable. This is not the spirit in which common European challenges must be met,” Tajani wrote on Twitter.
It was the latest in a series of clashes between Paris and Rome since Meloni took office last October at the head of a nationalist, conservative government that has a worldview very different from that of French President Emmanuel Macron.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante and Crispian Balmer in Rome and John Irish and Tassilo Hummel in Paris);
Source: CNN Brasil
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