China’s Belt and Road plan could be good for Italy: Italian PM

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ROME: China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan could be a good opportunity for Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday, confirming that he might sign an accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month.

Xi is due to visit Italy from March 22-24. Conte told a foreign policy seminar that he also planned to attend a Belt and Road Initiative summit in China in April.

Conte dismissed suggestions that the United States might penalize Rome if it signed up to the Chinese initiative. However, he added that security concerns over Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE should not be taken lightly.

Italy PM says is working to try to end sanctions against Russia

Earlier in the day, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday he was working to try to end international sanctions against Russia, which the ruling parties in Rome say are ineffective and hurt the Italian economy.

Read More: China defends ‘New Silk Road’ against debt complaints

Speaking at a foreign policy conference in Genova, Conte said the sanctions, imposed after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, must never become an end in themselves.

When asked if Italy wanted them lifted, he replied: “We are working for this objective.”

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