Obama praises Italian leader for his ‘bold’ leadership
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.