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New Italian government will be pro-NATO, pro-Europe, says Meloni

Consultations on the formation of Italy’s new government widely expected to be led by conservativeleader Giorgia Meloni, will be held on October 20 and 21, as stated by President Sergio Mattarella’s office Wednesday.

Giorgia Meloni, who is expected to be Italy’s next prime minister, threw down the gauntlet to her right-wing coalition partners on Wednesday, saying her new government would be pro-NATO and fully a part of Europe.

Her uncompromising statement came after her right-wing ally and former PM, Silvio Berlusconi, reiterated his sympathy for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of triggering the war.

In a sharply worded declaration, Meloni said any party that disagreed with her foreign policy line should not join the government, which is set to take office next week.

Meloni has staunchly defended Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February, and has supported Western sanctions against Moscow.

“On one thing I have been, am, and will always be clear. I intend to lead a government with a clear and unequivocal foreign policy line,” she said. “Anyone who does not agree with this cornerstone cannot be part of the government.”

Meloni led a right-wing bloc comprising her Brothers of Italy party, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League to a general election victory last month.

Under the constitution, Mattarella has to consult with all the main political party leaders before he can invite the election winners to form an administration.

Salvini said earlier on Wednesday that he expected the new cabinet would be sworn in some time between Saturday and Monday and that it would formally take office on October 26 after winning an obligatory vote of confidence in parliament.

The new government will replace one led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi and will have to cope with rising inflation and concerns over energy supplies heading into winter.

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