President Trump said a “strong Europe” was good for the US, appearing to walk back earlier comments about the EU as a whole. In meeting with Italian Prime Minister Gentiloni, Trump pushed Rome for more trade with the US.
US President Donald Trump appeared to soften his tone towards Europe in a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday.
The president said that a solid Europe was “very important” to him – a far cry from the campaign trail, when he hailed Brexit and called the EU a “vehicle for Germany.”
“A strong Europe is very, very important to me as president of the United States. And it’s also, in my opinion – in my very strong opinion, important for the United States,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Gentiloni. “We want to see it. We will help it be strong, and it’s very much to everybody’s advantage.”
Trump further praised Italy as a “key partner” in the fight against the so-called “Islamic State’s” (IS) terrorism, but made it clear that the US would not send ground troops to stabilize conflict-ridden Libya, though Gentiloni pointed out that the chaos there had aided the spread of IS influence in the region.