Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano discussed bilateral cooperation and international problems, including the situation in the Middle East and the North Africa, the Kremlin reported.
Many regional countries have been facing popular protests, which already caused the ruling regimes in Egypt and Tunisia to fall. Antigovernment rallies also occurred in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria.
A revolution which began in mid-February in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi’s forty-year rule has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi’s troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.
Medvedev, who arrived in Rome an a two-day working visit on Wednesday, will on Thursday attend a military parade in central Rome to celebrate 150 years since Italy’s unification in 1861 into a united kingdom encompassing the entire Apennine Peninsula.
After the parade, the Russian leader will take part in a trilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden. He will then meet with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.
The Russian leader’s negotiations in Italy will focus on bilateral and international issues, particularly trade as Italy is Russia’s fifth leading partner after China, the Netherlands, Germany and Ukraine in terms of foreign trade.
Medvedev last visited Italy in February.
ROME, June 2 (RIA Novosti)