David Cameron holds talks with Berlusconi in Rome

Image caption,
Silvio Berlusconi and David Cameron met in Canada in June

Prime Minister David Cameron has held talks with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, in Rome.

The two men had a "working dinner" and discussed European economic recovery.

Downing Street said the "positive and constructive" talks also focused on Afghanistan and an agreement to co-ordinate efforts in the Middle East.

The meeting came on the same evening that Mr Berlusconi survived a vote of no confidence after a group of MPs left his centre-right coalition.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister had a positive and constructive working dinner with Prime Minister Berlusconi this evening."

Sanctions and talks

The leaders welcomed each others' fiscal plans and agreed on the importance of galvanising trade and investment between the UK and Italy, Downing Street said.

They also agreed to work together to reduce regulation at EU level and to support small business.

The spokesman said the discussion also covered foreign affairs. On Afghanistan they agreed that continued training of the Afghan security forces was vital to the success of the strategy.

They agreed to co-ordinate efforts on the Middle East, including the implementation of EU sanctions on Iran and the desire to encourage direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr Cameron also updated Mr Berlusconi on his visit to Turkey. The leaders agreed to continue to make the case for Turkish accession to the European Union.

Mr Cameron, 43, who became prime minister in May after forming the UK's first coalition government in modern times, had already met Mr Berlusconi, 72, at June's G20 summit in Canada and the European Council meeting in Brussels.

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