France sending ambassador back to Italy amid spat

France sending ambassador back to Italy amid spat

France is sending its ambassador back to Italy following the biggest diplomatic dispute between the two countries since the Second World War.

France's European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said on RTL radio that ambassador Christian Masset will return on Friday to Rome.

Ms Loiseau said Italian President Sergio Mattarella called French President Emmanuel Macron and that they discussed "how important the friendship between France and Italy is, how much the countries need each other".

France recalled Mr Masset last week to protest over perceived Italian meddling in French domestic politics, after Italian deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio met with French yellow vest activists seeking to run for the European Parliament.

The dispute between Italy's populist leaders and pro-EU Mr Macron reflects tensions over Europe's direction ahead of those elections in May.

PA

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