Italy's prime minister in Tunisia for talks

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Italian Premier, Matteo Renzi , center, gestures as he shares a glass of tea with pine nuts during a meeting with members of the Tunisian civil society at the cafe des Nattes in Sidi Bou Said, north of the Tunisian capital Tunis, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Earlier in the day Renzi had met the Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki, and his Tunisian counterpart, Mehdi Jomaa. (AP Photo/Hamadi Ben Taieb)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has met with Tunisian leaders to push for closer cooperation on trade and immigration.

Renzi said he'd chosen Tunisia for his first foreign trip since taking office last week "to demonstrate that the Mediterranean must be at the heart of Europe, not its border."

Renzi met with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and President Moncef Marzouki, as well as other officials during the visit Tuesday.

Renzi says relations with Mediterranean countries will be the "fundamental axis" of Italy's presidency of the European Union later this year.