Leon Panetta on Ignazio La Russa "As a fellow Italian, it's nice to have another Italian visit in that capacity"
October 18, 2011 ~ Italy's Minister of Defense, Ignazio La Russa, met yesterday at the Pentagon with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to discuss defense issues of mutual interest.
Addressing Pentagon reporters and the Italian media, Panetta said, "As a fellow Italian, it's nice to have another Italian visit in that capacity." Panetta noted that he enjoyed a " very warm friendship," with La Russa and called Italy one of the United States' most important partners and allies." He added, "We have confirmed how close our relationship is also in several other fields. We want to strengthen this collaboration in both the political and military field, and, if possible, … we want to take a positive approach to several problems on the table – namely Libya and Afghanistan," said La Russa.
Later that afternoon, La Russa made a surprise visit to Viniitaly US Tour 2011, at the Italian Embassy, where he greeted participants and enjoyed a glass of wine. (Above, third from left.)