A senior Italian minister sent a strong signal that his country would cancel a controversial investment agreement with China.

Bloomberg quoted Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, a close ally of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, as saying in an interview on Sunday, with Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper, that Italy should withdraw from the Chinese agreement, without causing a catastrophe.

Notably, Italy is the only G7 country that has signed up to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s groundbreaking Belt and Road Initiative, which the coalition is set to automatically renew by the end of the year, unless Italy abandons it.

Bloomberg reported that Italian officials had assured the United States that Rome would exit the agreement, but the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni refrained from making any public announcement while on a visit to the United States earlier this week.

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