French President calls for reconciliation with Italy

ROME (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a call for reconciliation with Italy following a diplomatic spat between the neighbours that saw Paris briefly recall its ambassador.

Relations between the two countries have fractured due to repeated clashes between centrist Macron and Italy’s populist coalition government.

In February, Paris recalled ambassador Christian Masset for a week in protest at “unfounded attacks and outlandish claims” by the Italian government.

“There has been intemperate talk. There have been various twists and turns and I think we owe it to our people, to our history and to Europe, to get past that,” Macron said last Sunday on Italian television.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Macron said he would host his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella at Amboise, central France, on May 2 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci “with French and Italian youth”.

French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. – AP