Italian premier Conte cancels Muscat lunch in Rome, where PM also will meet Pope

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has been reported to have cancelled lunch with the Maltese prime minister

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte being greeted by Joseph Muscat in Malta
Italian PM Giuseppe Conte being greeted by Joseph Muscat in Malta

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has cancelled a lunch meeting with Joseph Muscat due to be held tomorrow, Friday, in Rome.

The Malta Independent said sources had confirmed that the Italian premier had suddenly cancelled his business lunch with the Maltese PM, ostensibly – but not confirmed – over the latest political developments in Malta concerning the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Muscat was expected to travel to Rome for the Mediterranean Dialogues, together with foreign minister Carmelo Abela, as well as to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

A petition urging people to write to Pope Francis, asking him not to meet Muscat, has been doing the rounds on social media. On Wednesday, a group of 22 academics urged the Pope not to receive the outgoing Prime Minister and to distance himself from this “propaganda exercise”.

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