Washington: US President Barack Obama will host his Italian and Colombian counterparts next month, the White House said on Friday. Italian President Sergio Mattarella is scheduled to meet Obama on February 8 during his visit to the US on February 6-13.
"Italy is a valued NATO Ally and a close partner on a broad range of global challenges," a White House press release said. The two leaders will discuss efforts to counter the Islamic State group and the global refugee crisis, and "they will also exchange views on economic development in Europe, the importance of concluding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and other issues of mutual interest", it said. In a separate news briefing on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama will host Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the White House next week, reports Xinhua. During Santos' official working visit on Thursday, the two presidents will "hold a bilateral meeting" and "mark 15 years of ... cooperation through Plan Colombia".