Meloni meets Biden, wins praise for Ukraine stance

Washington: Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni won the praise of United States President Joe Biden for Italy’s staunch support of Ukraine since the Russian invasion when the leaders met at the White House for the second time this week.

“I want to thank you for Italy’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” said Biden. We have each other’s backs. We also have Ukraine’s back”.He also joked that he played the Ray Charles song “Georgia on My Mind” as Meloni arrived.

The leaders discussed the main global challenges and how to coordinate the allies responses to them, with Italy holding the duty presidency of the G7.

Meloni, who also visited the White House in July, said the crisis in the Middle East was of “utmost concern”, stressing the need to “work together on concrete steps to guarantee the two-state perspective, which is the only long-term sustainable solution”.

She also proposed the creation of a “global alliance against human traffickers” as part of efforts to stop the illegal arrival of migrants.

“Building on Italy’s role in the Mediterranean, the G7 will pay special attention also to the African continent,” Meloni said, according to a statement by the premier’s office.

“We’ve been discussing it, many times, for I think we have to remember that Africa is not a poor continent; it is, on the contrary, incredibly rich in human and material resources, but it has been neglected and exploited with a predatory approach for a long time.

“I want to reverse this approach, together with you, which is also a root cause of the migration crisis.

“We need to support Africa’s development on an equal basis and put an end to illegal migration while fighting human trafficking.

Human trafficking has become the most financially rewarding crime globally, and we cannot accept it any longer.

“For this reason, I came here today also with a proposal to launch a global alliance against human traffickers”.

After the encounter Meloni flew to Toronto, where she is meeting Canadian President Justin Trudeau on Saturday.