Former ambassador to Italy, a Leechburg native, says U.S.-Italy ties are strong

Feb 09, 2017 1153


While President Donald Trump's tough talk has upset U.S. relations with nations such as Mexico and Australia, the former U.S. ambassador to Italy sees no points of conflict with that nation. “There's no reason to think the Trump administration would have any interest in upsetting a very strong, very close relationship that has developed over the decades,” said John Phillips, 74, a Leechburg native who served as U.S. ambassador to Italy and San Marino from September 2013 until January.

“Italy has been a very good partner,” he said during an interview Friday from his home in Washington. “I don't see any points of conflict with the Trump administration and Italy.” Phillips, a Democrat, had been a supporter of and fundraiser for former President Obama, who nominated Phillips, a grandson of Italian immigrants, to the ambassador's post. As such, Phillips represented the Obama administration and U.S. interests in Italy.

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