The ties that bind Italy and France are "historic" and unchanging, prime minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday before a bilateral summit in Naples with French president Emmanuel Macron
"France is an historic ally," relations Conte told reporters in Naples ahead of the 35th intergovernmental summit with France, taking place at the Palazzo Reale in Naples at 16.30 local time.
"France is a country with which we have a tradition of cultural, scientific and economic relations."
"The reality of these relations does not change from one year to another and one government to another," Conte stated.
A total 11 French ministers and 11 Italian ministers including foreign minister Luigi Di Maio are due to attend the bilateral summit. The summit will be followed by a gala dinner hosted by Italy's president Sergio Mattarella.
On Wednesday, Di Maio said Macron's attendance at the bilateral summit showed "the level of trust" other countries have in Italy, which is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak.