Italy, France sign ‘historic’ treaty

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France and Italy on Friday drew a line under recent tensions and signed a new treaty to formalise their relations, against the back-ground of a European Union in flux.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi put pen to paper at the Quirinale pal-ace of President Sergio Mat-tarella.

An aerial acrobatic display by both countries’ air forces followed. At a press conference, the leaders of the two Mediterra-nean powers long bound by his-torical, cultural and linguistic ties emphasised their closeness but also their joint commitment to the wider EU project.

Draghi called it a “historic moment”, which “in-tends to favour and accelerate the process of European integration”.

Macron said the treaty “seals a deep friendship”. “Founding countries of the EU… we defend a more in-tegrated, more democratic, more sovereign Europe,” he added.

The treaty was signed just weeks before France takes over the rotating EU presidency in January, and at a time of change on the continent.—APP

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