At the joint press-conference with Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev in Rome on Tuesday, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte said that his country would always be next to Macedonia and that it supported both the country and a decision to start membership negotiations. The Italian PM considers that the country has shown courage in terms of resolving open issue. Thanks to that courage, in Conte’s view, Macedonia will join NATO. As he added, that’s why both his country allowed Macedonia to join NATO and the country should be allowed to move forward towards Europe. That, Conte pointed out, doesn’t mean EU integration right away, but rather through 35 chapters in the negotiations. At the meeting, Zaev and Conte discussed the Italy-Macedonia friendly relations and cooperation, as well as reaffirmation of the Open perspective and Europe as a common home of both countries.