President Biden on Tuesday met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the margins of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Bali, Indonesia.
The meeting is Biden’s first with Meloni, a far-right politician who is a member of the conservative Brothers of Italy party, which has been tied to neofascism. Biden in October had expressed concern over Meloni’s election, sharing her victory as a warning to the U.S. of the possibility of far-right leadership.
The president and Meloni met to “coordinate responses to a range of global challenges, including those posed by the People’s Republic of China, the climate crisis, and Russia’s use of energy as a weapon,” according to a readout from the White House.
Additionally, Biden and Meloni discussed the war in Ukraine. Italy is a member of NATO.
“The two leaders also discussed their commitment to continue providing Ukraine the support it needs to defend itself and to holding Russia accountable for its aggression,” according to the White House.
The meeting comes a day after Biden met for more than three hours with Chinese President Xi Jinping while at the G-20 summit.
Meloni is the first woman in Italian history to become prime minister. Biden congratulated her in a statement when she was sworn in in October. Meloni and her hard-right coalition were elected to the majority in the Italian Parliament in September.
The White House had stressed that Italy is a NATO ally, Group of Seven partner and member of the European Union when pressed on the Italian elections when they first occurred.