French President Emmanuel Macron told Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Wednesday night that he did not mean to offend “Italy and the Italian people” over comments he made regarding Italy’s decision to refuse acceptance of a stranded migrant boat.
Macron referred to Italy’s decision as cynical and irresponsible on Tuesday, outraging Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and almost causing an upcoming meeting between Macron and Conte to be canceled. (RELATED: Italy Demands Apology From Macron While Ripping Soros Over Migrant Hypocrisy)
Macron attempted to patch the relationship while reaffirming the lunch meeting for Friday in a late night phone call Wednesday between the two leaders, according to a report by Reuters. They plan to discuss immigration, a sensitive subject for both countries as of late.
“Macron and Conte agreed that with the end-June European Union summit looming, it is necessary that new initiatives are discussed together,” read a statement from the prime minister’s office.
Although the meeting is back on, a source close to Macron maintained that Macron was not “taking back anything,” according to Reuters.
The diplomatic spat surrounding a boat carrying more than 600 migrants began after Salvini, also leader of the anti-migrant league party, refused to allow it to dock in Italy on June 10.
The migrant vessel was stranded in the Mediterranean between Italy and Malta until Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Monday that the ship was welcome to dock at a Spanish port in Valencia.
Italy’s refusal to accept the stranded boat has upset several European leaders, especially Macron.
Pope Francis got involved in the conflict on Thursday, saying the current migrant crisis “demands a change in mindset” and that international cooperation is vital.
Email tips to email@example.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.