Italian President Sergio Mattarella begins week-long visit to US

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Rome, February 8, AZERTAC 

Italian President Sergio Mattarella will meet President Obama at the White House today as part of his first seven-day official visit to the United States during which he will visit Washington, New York and Houston, according to ABC News.

Mattarella will be accompanied to his meetings today by Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and both will hold further talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden throughout the day.

The two men are expected to speak about a number of issues, focusing in particular on the crisis in the Mediterranean, the shared efforts to counter ISIS -- especially in Libya and Syria -- and the migrant situation in Europe. Italian leading dailies today report that Obama will probably ask Italy to do more in Libya to counter ISIS while Italy’s president is expected to insist that all must be done to bolster the political situation in Libya before any sort of joint military action can be taken.

Economic matters affecting Europe may also be a topic of discussion at today’s meetings between the leaders, along with a more detailed exchange of views on the yet-to-be-finalized Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera reports today that President Mattarella and his delegation are also expected to use this trip to continue Italy’s campaign to win a seat among the 10 members of the U.N. security council. The vote to choose member states is expected later this year and the General Assembly will have to approve all candidate states. The Italian presidential delegation will hold meetings at the U.N. Wednesday.

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