Meloni to visit the White House
An invitation to the White House is no small feat, and the latest world leader to get one from President Joe Biden is indeed an interesting one: Italian PM Giorgia Meloni.
The two were chatting this week about the situation in Russia and recent developments in North Africa – meaning Europe’s migrant crisis – when Biden asked Meloni to visit the White House next month.
As the leader of a G7 country and a close European ally, it might not seem like such a big deal for Meloni to be hosted by the US president. But as head of the far-right Brothers of Italy Party – which has neo-fascistic roots – Meloni cuts a very interesting cloth in European politics.
Upon coming to office last fall, many analysts suggested that Meloni – under pressure from her extreme coalition partners – might abandon support for Ukraine and strain relations with the US and the UK, particularly as she’d long styled herself as an anti-globalist. Meloni had also railed against the European Union.
But Meloni, a pragmatic and ideological politician, has emerged as a fierce ally of Ukraine, calling for ongoing military aid to Kyiv despite falling support amongst the Italian electorate and pushback within her coalition. (Still, she’s had more fraught relations with fellow EU leaders – particularly France’s Emmanuel Macron – over immigration.)Biden, for his part, likely wants to give the Italian PM a photo op for toeing the line on Ukraine, while for Meloni, a visit will give her visibility that’ll play well at home, where she remains extremely popular.