Italy centre-right says president must be able to unite country

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's next head of state must be able to unite the country and be acceptable to all political parties, a top official from Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition said on Tuesday.

"The president must represent national unity and therefore cannot be, or even appear to be, hostile to a significant part of the Italian people," Angelino Alfano, the national secretary of Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, said in a statement.

Alfano issued the statement after a meeting between Berlusconi and centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to try to break Italy's political deadlock following February's inconclusive election.

Officials said the meeting focused on finding an accord over the next president to replace Giorgio Napolitano whose term ends next month.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones)