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Italy's Matteo Salvini in US for talks with Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence

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By Philip Pangalos
Italy's Matteo Salvini in US for talks with Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence

The leader of Italy's right-wing League Party, Matteo Salvini, is on an official visit to Washington in his capacity as Italy's Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Salvini held meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, with whom, as it was made known, he shares the same concerns in relation to China and Iran.

"To be close and to bolster the growth of Italian companies around the world is not just our right, but our duty. But to control that there are no invasions from countries that are not democratic in structures and fundamental infrastructure, and I refer to technology, communications, energy and telecommunications, is something very important," Matteo Salvini said.

"There is also a legal intervention in progress at present in the Italian parliament that foresees national security coming before any kind of financial matter, and this is why I share American concerns on China and on Iran," he added

Political analysts say that the leader of the League Party will likely get a boost from his Washington visit and it may even help him break from his coalition partner, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. This, in turn, could lead to early elections in the autumn, where pollsters predict Salvini's party will likely come first and potentially bring a far-right government to power in the heart of Europe for the first time since World War II, with significant ramifications for European policies on immigration and economics.