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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a media conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

(reuters_tickers)

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Thursday confirmed his planned Friday meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, a statement said, after a conciliatory phone call between the two politicians.

Conte had considered pushing back the visit amid a diplomatic spat that broke out with France after Italy closed its ports to a humanitarian migrant rescue ship earlier this week. Macron and Conte spoke by telephone on Thursday evening, a statement said.

"President Macron underscored that he did not say anything that was meant to offend Italy or the Italian people," a statement from the Italian prime minister's office said.

"Macron and Conte agreed that with the end-June European Union summit looming, it is necessary that new initiatives are discussed together."

(Reporting by Steve Scherer and Massimiliano Di Giorgio, editing by Francesca Landini)

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Reuters