French Envoy Returns To Italy As Neighbors Seek To Rekindle Friendship | 6/15/2018 | Staff
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PARIS (Reuters) – France’s ambassador to Italy returned to Rome on Friday, more than a week after he was recalled by President Emmanuel Macron, as the European neighbors sought to defuse the worst diplomatic crisis between them since World War Two.

A Senior French diplomat described the recall as “electro-shock therapy” that had been necessary to put an end to a campaign of “repeated, baseless” attacks by Italian political leaders against France.

Commentators - Recall - Over-reaction - Macron - French

Some commentators saw the recall as an over-reaction by Macron but French officials said it had persuaded Italian politicians to reaffirm publicly their friendship with France and halt their verbal onslaught — at least for now.

“We blew the whistle loud enough to make everybody stop,” the senior diplomat said.

European - Affairs - Minister - Nathalie - Loiseau

French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau confirmed the ambassador’s return early on Friday.

Ties between the two nations, traditionally close allies, have grown increasingly tense since mid-2018, with Italy’s Deputy Prime Ministers Luigi di Maio and Matteo Salvini firing verbal pot-shots at Macron and his government, mostly over migration policy.

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