National/World

Obama meets departing Italian president

Friday, February 15, 2013
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (WPVI Photo)

President Barack Obama greets outgoing Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, hailing him as a friend and a "visionary" leader and takes the opportunity to thank Italy for its participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and contributions in Afghanistan.

Obama says Napolitano, who ends his seven years in office this spring, has helped guide and steer Europe toward greater unification. Among the topics Obama said the two men would discuss is Obama's plan to pursue U.S.-European Union free trade pact and the formation of a new government in Italy and its implications for Europe.

Napolitano said Italy, which has struggled to shore up its finances and emerge from recession, has made "remarkable progress" in the past 14 months. He says progress "must and will continue."

 

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president barack obama, italy, white house, washington, d.c., national/world
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