Italy's populist premier Giuseppe Conte had "a long meeting" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK prime minister Theresa May on the sidelines of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels Tuesday aimed at filling the bloc's key EU posts, sources in Conte's office said.
Conte also met Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, Hungarian premier Viktor Orban, and his Croatian and Bulgarian counterparts Andrej Plenkovic and Boyko Borissov, the sources said.
EU leaders entered their third straight day of talks on after a marathon 18-hour summit session broke up in acrimony on Monday, with no agreement over a reported French-German compromise deal on the new head of the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm.
Under the reported deal, which Italy helped block, Dutch Labour leader Frans Timmermans would head the Commission with centre-right Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva taking the other key job of European Council president.
That deal fell apart when the four Visegrad states of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia scuppered the plan, with the backing of Italy.