Giorgia Meloni’s Strong Ties With Joe Biden’s America

The recent death of Silvio Berlusconi, known for his pro-American positions, but also his friendship with Vladimir Putin, further distances Italy from Russia and brings it closer than ever to the United States. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni recently presented two conditions to be part of her government: Europe and Atlanticism.

Ms. Meloni made the remarks shortly after Mr. Berlusconi’s controversial statements about Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, adding that anyone who does not share his views on the EU and the US “is left out”.

“Mr. Berlusconi has always been on the side of the West, a support in relations with the United States and Israel. Ms. Meloni’s government continues on this path and confirms the Italian government’s Atlanticism,” political philosopher Corrado Ocone told EURACTIV.

NATO Policies

However, Ms. Meloni has not always shared NATO policies. In 2016, for example, she criticized the decision to deploy troops, including Italian troops, to Latvia in 2018 and held then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to account.

“This is nonsense worthy of Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy. Europe and Italy have no interest in creating a cold war climate with Russia,” she wrote on social media.

Today, however, Ms Meloni not only agrees with all NATO decisions regarding the war in Ukraine, but also seems to have a very good relationship with current US President Joe Biden, despite the political distance. and the criticisms she made of him before he came to power.

“We want to be allies and not subjects. I’m not happy to hear US President Joe Biden say that sanctions [against Russia] will only have a minimal influence on Americans. Here, in Italy, the consequences will be maximum. It is a question of distributing the charges and the honors. We will not serve as mules to the West,” Ms. Meloni said from the stage of a Brethren of Italy rally in Milan in April 2022.

The first meeting between Ms Meloni and Mr Biden took place at the G7 in Hiroshima, Japan, and was immortalized by a popular photo in which Mr Biden held hands with the Italian Prime Minister. In addition, Ms. Meloni’s first official visit to the United States seems to be scheduled for July, eight months after her inauguration at Palazzo Chigi.

“We are working on the organization of Ms. Meloni’s visit to the United States in July. The Prime Minister will meet with President Joe Biden to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Italy. There is a common vision between Italy and the United States, which is our main ally in the world,” said Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP) during his visit to Washington on Monday (June 12 ), during which he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Italy’s proximity to the United States also appears to be standing in the way of renewing Xi Jinping’s Silk Road deal with China. This agreement was signed in March 2019 by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (5-Star Movement) under the “yellow-green” government with Matteo Salvini’s League, now in government with Ms. Meloni.

“Coherence dictates that this agreement not be renewed today, even if that creates economic and diplomatic problems”, explains Mr. Ocone, who recalls that the League has criticized the agreement with China from the start, while the party was part of the government.

Ms Meloni will have to decide by the end of the year how to proceed since the deal, if not renewed by the Italian government, will expire in March 2024.

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