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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni welcomed President Biden and other world leaders at the G-7 summit opening session in Italy on Thursday against the backdrop of multiple global conflicts.

The G-7, held in Italy’s southern Puglia region, brings together the leaders of Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S., as well as the European Union (EU).

The summit comes shortly after EU elections that saw Meloni’s Brothers of Italy Party secure a resounding victory in the country. The results are seen by many as providing a strong boost for Meloni both domestically and internationally.

“The Italian prime minister arrived timidly on the international scene in 2022 because she knew the skepticism that existed in European capitals. Now after this victory in Europe, she feels Italy can relaunch the cards,” Stefano Vaccara, founder of the digital daily La Voce di New York, told Fox News Digital.


Meloni and Biden

President Biden is welcomed by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during a G-7 world leaders summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy, on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

“Meloni has a vision for Italy ‘second to none’ in Europe. Italy must have the same weight in influencing the EU’s marching role and counts on the special relationship with the U.S.,” he said.

Vaccara noted that Italy will position itself as a bridge between the interests of the U.S. and those of the Europeans, who are also split between the far-right and the center-right.

Meloni also fared significantly better than her European counterparts, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, who suffered major losses to their right-wing rivals. Scholz and his Social Democrats were handed a crushing defeat, finishing third behind the center-right Christian Democrats and the far-right Alternative for Germany Party. Macron dissolved parliament and called for snap elections after his party was rocked by Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally.

“Clearly the results do show a rightward shift in European politics, and not just the populist right or extreme right but also the center-right has come out stronger,” Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, told Fox News Digital.

“It’s a reaction to the left in Europe,” he added.


Biden and Meloni at the G-7

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni talks next to President Biden in a working session with world leaders during a G-7 summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy, on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Italy’s first female prime minister is now in a position to steer Europe in her direction as she has cultivated close ties with the leader of the center-right European People’s Party, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Meloni will use her electoral mandate to influence the major policy items that will top the G-7 agenda. Since coming to power in 2022, Meloni’s government has distinguished it as a close American ally and has worked well with both von der Leyen and with President Biden. 

“Under Meloni’s government, Italy has been an enormously valuable U.S. partner,” Andrew Novo, non-resident senior fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis, told Fox News Digital.

“It has been the European Union’s leading voice in support of Ukraine. It withdrew Italy from China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Relations between Italy and the United States are strong and that trend looks set to continue,” Novo added.

G-7 security in Italy

Italian Carabinieri patrol at a road block near Borgo Egnazia, the venue of the G-7 summit in southern Italy, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

European and Western elites once harbored doubts about Meloni before her election as prime minister due to her past sympathy for Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since becoming prime minister, Meloni has been skillful and assured the skeptics in the foreign-policy establishment that she is a trustworthy and mostly centrist partner willing to work with Brussels and act as a solid U.S. ally against Russia and in support of Ukraine.


Ukrainian firefighters

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire after a Russian attack at an apartment building area in the town of Uman, 125 miles south of Kiev, Ukraine, on Friday, April 28, 2023. (National Police of Ukraine via AP)

The G-7 summit will address a wide range of international issues including climate change, Africa and development. The summit will then place a heavy focus on Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza and Russia’s continued war against Ukraine.

“In this transitioning moment in the EU, Meloni will play an important role in rallying countries to support Ukraine. Meloni’s success was Putin’s nightmare and the Kremlin launched its propaganda campaign to undermine Meloni for her unwavering support for Ukraine,” Ivana Stradner, research fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.

On Ukraine, President Biden wants to provide Kyiv with an additional $50 billion in aid from frozen Russian assets. The latest round of aid comes at a desperate time for Ukrainian forces as they face an offensive around the Kharkiv region. Meloni is in lockstep with President Biden in her steadfast support for Ukraine.


Israeli attacks on Gaza

Smoke billows after the Israeli army launched an airstrike on Al Mughraqa area in the Gaza Strip on April 14, 2024. (Photo by Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Regarding Israel, Meloni has been mostly supportive of Israel in its war against Hamas but recently came out in opposition to Israel’s incursion into Rafah. 

A joint communiqué released by the White House, and signed on by Meloni and the G-7 leaders, noted “We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), fully endorse and will stand behind the comprehensive deal outlined by President Biden that would lead to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, a significant and sustained increase in humanitarian assistance for distribution throughout Gaza, and an enduring end to the crisis, with Israel’s security interests and Gazan civilian safety assured. We reaffirm our support for a credible pathway towards peace leading to a two state solution.”

The summit ends on June 15.


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