Two French ministers have decided to boycott a conference in Italy on the future of the European Union due to the presence of controversial Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan, aides said Wednesday.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Women's Rights, were due to go to Thursday's meeting in Florence that will also be attended by European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso.

They "decided not to attend this conference... at the same time as Tariq Ramadan," an aide of Vallaud-Belkacem, who is also spokeswoman for the Socialist government, told AFP.

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