President Obama will welcome his Italian counterpart to the White House on Friday...
Ahead of a White House meeting with President Obama on Friday, President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy was feted with a Valentine's Day luncheon by Vice President Joe Biden. Held at Blair House, the President's historic official guest quarters located across the street from the White House, the guests included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a proud Italian American, and Italy's Ambassador to the US, the Honorable Claudio Bisogniero. (Above, the Vice President and President at Blair House)
On Friday at 10:00 AM, the President will welcome President Napolitano to the Oval Office for a bilateral meeting that will do double duty as a farewell visit. President Napolitano is coming to the end of his term in office, and the White House hailed him as "a close ally and friend of the United States."
"The President looks forward to welcoming President Napolitano to pay a farewell call and further reinforce the strong and enduring bonds between our two countries," the White House said. (Above, the Vice President and Napolitano at lunch at Blair House; Pelosi is on his right)
The Vice President will not attend the White House meeting; he's heading for a President's Day weekend vacation in Snowmass, Colorado, with his family, the White House said, through Monday, with no public events scheduled.
After the Vice President's luncheon, Ambassador Bisogniero wrote on Twitter:
"Pres #Napolitano just had lunch w/ @VP #Biden, in view of tomorrow meeting w/ Pres Obama. Both sides very grateful for wonderful cooperation."
Above: Leader Pelosi and Pres. Napolitano after the luncheon.
*At top, White House photo by David Lienemann; other photos via the Embassy of Italy