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Friday January 28, 2022

Italy, France cement ties with new treaty

By AFP
November 27, 2021

ROME: France and Italy sought to move past recent tensions and signed a new treaty on Friday to formalise their relations, against the background of a European Union in flux.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi put pen to paper in a ceremony full of pomp at Rome´s Quirinale palace of President Sergio Mattarella. An aerial acrobatics display by both countries´ air forces followed, trailing the colours of the Italian and French flags across a clear autumn sky over the capital.

Later, Macron held a private audience with Pope Francis, against the backdrop of a child abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in France. At a joint press conference, Draghi said the treaty represented a "historic moment" and evoked the close relations with France, from their "republican values" to economic and cultural ties. For his part, Macron said the treaty -- only the second of its type with an EU partner, after a 1963 treaty with Germany -- "seals a deep friendship".

Italy and France have long been bound by historical, cultural and linguistic ties, their relationship deepened in recent decades by their memberships of both the EU and the Nato military alliance.

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