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Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has been asked to form a government by the country's president.
President Sergio Mattarella has been looking for a replacement for centre-left PM Matteo Renzi, who resigned after losing a referendum on constitutional reform last week.
Mr Gentiloni, 62, is a loyalist from Mr Renzi's Democratic Party.
Correspondents say that if he is successful in rallying support a government could be formed in days.
In a brief acceptance speech, Mr Gentiloni said he realised the urgency of forming the government to reassure the country.
He said he would work within the framework of the previous administration, making it likely that he will reappoint several ministers.
2016.12.12 / 10:48