This file photo taken on June 23, 2016 shows Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi during a press conference on the future of renewable energy in Italy on June 23, 2016 at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome. / AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE
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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi heads to the United States Monday for a high-profile visit that he hopes will boost his flagging campaign for a referendum on constitutional reform.Renzi, 41, has worked hard to win White House respect.Renzi has also risked the wrath of his political family by allowing the U.S. military to use Italian bases for strikes in Libya, and only last week Rome announced it was joining a new NATO force in eastern Europe that has angered Russia and is viewed with suspicion on Italy's left.The last time the United States threw a state dinner for Italy was in 1998 .The pro-American Berlusconi was never awarded a state dinner in Washington during his nine years as prime minister.
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