Italy, Feb 16: France’s ambassador returned to Italy on Friday, professing confidence that the two neighbors could deal with disagreements and work through their most serious diplomatic dispute since World War II.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella received the returning ambassador, the presidential Quirinal Palace in Rome said. Ambassador Christian Masset gave him a letter from French President Emmanuel Macron inviting Mattarella to France.
“President Mattarella, in expressing thanks, has cordially accepted the invitation,” the palace said in a statement.
France recalled Masset last week to protest perceived Italian meddling in French domestic politics, after Italian Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio met with French yellow vest activists seeking to run for the European Parliament.
“I was very happy to turn the lights back on in Palazzo Farnese,” home of the French embassy in Rome, Masset told reporters Friday evening in a frescoed salon of the 16th-century Renaissance palace. “And I want them always to be on.”
In response to France’s decision, Di Maio, who heads the populist 5-Star Movement, said he was glad France sent the ambassador back to Rome.
“I’ll ask him for a meeting,” Di Maio told reporters.