Trump to host Italian PM at White House next week

Trump to host Italian PM at White House next week
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President Trump will host Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House next Thursday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the two leaders would discuss the upcoming Group of Seven (G-7) summit meeting in Italy “and a range of issues of mutual concern.”

The G-7 meeting is expected to be part of Trump’s first overseas trip as president. 

The group of industrialized nations has pressured Russia to abandon its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and help bring to an end the country’s civil war. 

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The U.S. and the other G-7 nations have said Assad was responsible for an April 4 chemical attack that killed dozens of his own citizens. 

Russia was ejected from the coalition, formerly known as the G-8, in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea.

Trump’s meeting with Gentiloni, who was elected last December, comes as he turns to Western allies in the aftermath of his decision to launch cruise missiles at Syria in response to the gas attack. 

The president met Wednesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, where Trump praised the alliance as "no longer obsolete," an about-face from his campaign trail rhetoric.

Trump is expected to attend a NATO summit next month in Germany before heading to the G-7 meeting.