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Trudeau-Italian PM show bond in wake of Trump protectionism, closed borders


Speaking to reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday, following a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Trump contradicted his guest's assessment that the U.S. role in stabilizing Libya would be critical, arguing the USA has "enough roles... everywhere".

Trump further praised Italy as a "key partner" in the fight against Islamic State (IS) terrorism, but made it clear that the U.S. would not send ground troops to stabilize conflict-ridden Libya, though Gentiloni pointed out that the chaos there had aided the spread of IS influence in the region.

Trump however made clear he does not see a U.S. role in Libya, saying the country was over extended elsewhere.

- He sees no military role for the U.S.in stabilizing Libya. "Libya divides Trump and Gentiloni", the pro-government la Repubblica newspaper said in a headline.

Trump plans to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Belgium next month before attending a summit of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations.

Gentiloni pointed out that Italy has been a staunch ally in fighting Islamic extremism in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also said the anti-trade movement is bigger than one single country. He said that the coming G7 is particularly important for showing unity of intents because of the arrival on it of new leaders, such as Trump and the next President of France.


At Thursday's news conference, Trump didn't specifically weigh in on the French election, nor would he say outright whether he supported countries staying in the EU. "Italy is key partner in the fight against terrorism", Trump said, while answering to a poser, adding, he seeks a "reciprocal trade deal with Italy".

Trump is slated to travel to Brussels for a summit of leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations on May 25. Trudeau also said he will have an audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City after the G7 talks. "And it's also, in my opinion - in my very strong opinion, important for the U.S.", he said.

"We have a number of visions that tie us together", he said.

The president said that a solid Europe was "very important" to him - a far cry from the campaign trail, when he hailed Brexit and called the European Union a "vehicle for Germany".

As he so often does, President Donald Trump embellished a written speech with some personal anecdotes Thursday afternoon, but this time they turned out to be rather embarrassing. We want to keep it going We feel confident that will happen, that we'll avoid a shutdown.

President Donald Trump says he believes Thursday's attack in Paris will "probably help" far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in France's upcoming election.

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