Italy should back Brexit delay if requested: foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi looks on during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

ROME (Reuters) - Italy should support a delay to Britain's exit from the European Union if London makes such a request, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero said on Thursday.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but on Wednesday its parliament rejected withdrawing without a deal, further weakening Prime Minister Theresa May and paving the way for a vote that could delay Brexit for weeks or even months.

"My position is that if there were a request we should say yes," Moavero told a parliamentary panel. "It's in Italy's interests ... because a head-to-head confrontation doesn't lead anywhere."

(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Gavin Jones)