Wednesday, July 8, 2009
President Barack Obama is praising historic American ties with Italy, saying the two countries are cooperating in a number of areas, including Afghanistan.
Following private talks with President Giorgio Napolitano before joining the G-8 summit of industrialized nations, Mr. Obama called Italy "a great friend of the United States."
President Obama, joined by Napolitano after their meeting, said the two countries "are working hand in hand in places like Afghanistan to ensure that we're isolating extremists and strengthening the forces of moderation around the world."
Mr. Obama said he looked forward to taking up weighty issues like the economy and global warming at the summit and said "these are all issues in which the Italian government has already shown extraordinary leadership."