U.S., Italian Leaders Say They Will Keep Russian Sanctions In Place

U.S., Italian Leaders Say They Will Keep Russian Sanctions In Place

"I agree very much with what you are doing with respect to migration, and illegal immigration, and even legal immigration", Trump told Conte in the Oval Office.

The Italian press has suggested the White House meeting will boost Conte, who is often overshadowed by his deputy prime ministers, who are also those parties' exuberant leaders: Matteo Salvini of the League party, and Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement.

Trump's threat, his second in two days, put him further at odds with his own party in Congress, where many Republicans are facing tough re-election fights this November. The president said other European countries should follow Italy's lead on migration issues. "To be honest, it expressed the position and the need to restore the balance in expenditure (NATO), which are traditionally very disproportionate, it is absolutely a reasonable position", he said.

In a joint press conference with the Italian prime minister, President Trump said he would have "no problem with a shutdown" if Congress resists funding his proposed border wall.

Some members of Conte's coalition government have advocated lifting sanctions and improving relations with Russian Federation, but the Italian leader went along with a recent six-month extension of the sanctions by the EU.

"If we don't get border security, after many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown", the president said.

In May, the Trump administration withdrew from an worldwide, multilateral nuclear weapons deal the Obama administration had entered into with Iran and other key Western allies.

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But a certain point of disagreement will be Trump's standoff with Iran - and the sanctions that hurt Italian-Iranian commercial relations.

Neither leader commented on the disagreement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was openly criticised by Trump when he visited London this month and she also faced a backlash from angry voters.

One potential banana skin was the $31-billion (€26.4 billion) U.S. trade deficit with Italy.

"Italy feels comfortable in the European Union". But two officials said Trump recognized the political cost of a shutdown before the November elections and had assured staff he wouldn't provoke a fiscal crisis until after Election Day.

He went on to single out Italy, adding: "And, by the way, Italy has a $31 billion surplus with the United States, meaning we have a $31 billion trade deficit with Italy". We're going to work something out.

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