Obama, Italian PM to discuss financial crisis

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama will meet with Italy's prime minister next month to discuss the European financial crisis.

Obama and Prime Minister Mario Monti will meet at the White House on Feb. 9.

The White House says the two leaders will discuss structural reforms the Italian government is taking to restore market confidence, as well as the prospect of expanding Europe's financial firewall.

Since taking office late last year, Monti has announced several emergency measures to reduce Italy's dangerously high sovereign debt, a problem also plaguing other European nations.

The White House is concerned that financial woes in Europe could hurt the chances of an economic recovery in the U.S.