Angela Merkel pays farewell visit to Rome and meets PM Mario Draghi
The Xinhua news agency reported, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday thanked outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel for playing a "decisive role" in shaping the future of the European Union (EU).
His remarks came at the conclusion of what likely was Merkel's last official meeting with Italy's top officials, as she prepares to leave the stage as soon as a new German federal government is formed after the recent parliamentary elections.
Draghi said at a joint press conference here, "I thank the chancellor on behalf of the government and myself personally for the decisive role she has had in designing the future of Europe" over the past 16 years.
In turn, Merkel noted that Draghi had played an essential role in safeguarding the euro.
She told reporters: "I believe the euro symbolizes our (EU) unity, therefore no effort has to be spared to further strengthen and develop it… and there is still much to be done in this field."
Merkel's talks with Draghi touched on other issues, such as the goals of the G20, whose rotating presidency is held by Italy this year; the need to boost COVID-19 vaccine supplies across the world; and the situation in Afghanistan, on which Germany and Italy hold the same position.
The two leaders also discussed climate change and environment protection in view of the major United Nations Climate Change Conference (or COP26) to be held in Glasgow, the United Kingdom, between Oct. 31 and Nov.