President Obama Welcomes Italian Prime Minister Renzi to the White House

The President and First Lady will welcome the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Mrs. Agnese Landini, to the White House on October 18 for the last Official Visit and State Dinner hosted by President Obama.  Prime Minister since 2014, this is Renzi’s second visit to Washington to meet with President Obama.

The United States and Italy: A Lesson in Partnership

The United States and Italy share abiding ties of family and friendship as well as history and culture. Our bilateral relationship is cemented by shared values, invigorated by people-to-people contacts, and enlivened by delicious food (sometimes even a glass of wine). Our strong bond is exemplified by the stories and successes of Italian-Americans among us -- stretching all the way back to when Christopher Columbus, a Genoa native, first sighted the New World.

The United States and Italy work closely to foster democratic ideals and global security. Italy is a steadfast and active NATO ally. The country is also a leader in peacekeeping, humanitarian, and military operations around the world -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and counter-ISIL missions. Prime Minister Renzi’s leadership has put Italy at the forefront of the European response to the refugee and migration crisis; Italy leads European Union’s efforts to rescue hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers while countering human smuggling operations in the Mediterranean. 

Many European nations are working to confront challenges new and old, making collaboration between the United States and Italy more important than ever.  As Secretary Kerry has said, we are working together to promote global and regional security and to forge a path for global economic prosperity that will provide greater opportunity for young people and protect the environment for future generations.  Prime Minister Renzi’s visit offers an opportunity for the U.S.-Italy relationship to deepen this long and productive partnership.  

Follow Along with This State Visit

Prime Minister Renzi and Mrs. Landini will participate in a State Dinner at the White House, hosted by President and Mrs. Obama, and an Official Luncheon at the Department of State, co-hosted by Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden.  The Prime Minister will also pay his respects to the sacrifices of American soldiers by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.

Keep up with the events as Prime Minister Renzi and Mrs Landini visit to Washington, D.C. by following @WhiteHouse, @StateDept, @EURPressOffice, and @US_Protocol on Twitter. You can also follow StateDept on Snapchat for behind-the-scenes coverage of the State Luncheon at the U.S. Department of State.

About the Author: Katarina Walsh is a Presidential Management Fellow serving on the Italy Desk in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Friday, April 17, 2015.
Posted by Katarina Walsh
October 17, 2016


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