Obama praises Ital­ian leader for his ‘bold’ lead­er­ship

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Seek­ing to boost a close ally, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama threw his sup­port Tues­day be­hind ef­forts that Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi is tak­ing to over­haul that coun­try’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and en­hance its econ­omy, say­ing that Renzi’s “bold” and “pro­gres­sive” lead­er­ship was ex­actly what Europe needs at a time of cri­sis and soul-search­ing.

Obama in­vited Renzi to the White House for the fi­nal of­fi­cial visit and state din­ner of his pres­i­dency, telling hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors at the arrival cer­e­mony that “we saved the best for last.”

Through­out Tues­day’s events, the two lead­ers re­cited a long list of is­sues on which they agree. They want to speed eco­nomic growth through investments in in­fras­truc­ture and to move for­ward with a sweep­ing trade agree­ment be­tween the U.S. and the Euro­pean Union. They also spoke of the im­por­tance of strength­en­ing the NATO al­liance and the need to main­tain sanc­tions against Rus­sia.

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