ROME Italy and Qatar agreed on Monday to continue their close economic and financial cooperation, the two countries' said in a statement on Monday that signalled Italian support for the beleaguered Gulf state.
Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi met Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome on the first leg of a tour of major Western capitals that will also take him to Paris, London, Berlin and Washington.
"The meeting took place in a highly cordial atmosphere, in line with the excellent state of political and economic relations between the two countries," the joint Qatari-Italian statement said.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries cut diplomatic as well as travel and trade ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting Iran and funding Islamist groups. Doha denies the charges.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer)