US signs up to Expo 2015

US President Barack Obama announced during his visit to Rome this week that the United States has confirmed its participation in Milan’s Expo 2015.

“I hope to be able to come back to Italy, to Milan for the Expo. We’ll come back to Milan with a pavilion,” said Obama, to the evident delight of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who was listening.

Secretary of State John Kerry also said the United States is "proud and excited" about the signing. Kerry added that it is a great opportunity for businesses to share ideas, and called it a "priority" for the Obama administration, as it will help companies create jobs.

This brings the total of confirmed nations to 147, after Morocco’s recent confirmation. Morocco is rumoured to be about to take over the Turkish pavilion after Ankara pulled out in protest as Italy failed to promote Izmir’s candidature for Expo 2020.

But there are as yet no details about the US pavilion, apart from its size – some 4,000 sqm – and its overall shape: a huge, Western-style barn. An association of “Friends of the US pavilion” is being set up to raise the $45 million needed. Expo commissioner Giuseppe Sala has stated that Italy stands by to help in whatever way is necessary.

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