United States secretary of state John Kerry has praised premier Matteo Renzi's leadership and the support he has given the US on security especially in the key role Italy is playing in stabilising war-torn Libya.
"I applaud and admire prime minister Renzi's leadership,"Kerry told Turin-based Italian daily La Stampa in an interview on Tuesday.
"He has represented a powerful and eloquent voice on shared security and prosperity in Europe and across the Atlantic," Kerry said.
Italy is playing a crucial role in its former colony of Libya has given vital support to its unity government including treating Libyan forces injured in the battle against the Islamic State jihadist group, Kerry noted.
"Italy has worked alongside us and with the national unity government to defeat the twin threats of internal instability and violence perpetrated by foreign extremists," Kerry stated.
Italy is also allowing its military bases to be used by the US for an aerial campaign against IS in Libya that began last month and is training and advising US partners battling IS in Iraq.
Kerry praised Renzi' calls for joint European action in the face of the humanitarian emergency arising from the worst refugee crisis since World War II in which Italy is at the front line as one of the main arrival points for the migrant influx.
"I agree with Renzi that the time has come for Europe to act," Kerry said.
"We appreciate his vision of a European Union based on shared ideals and principles," Kerry added.