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G7 leaders to kick off summit in southern Puglia, Italy | Political news

G7 leaders to kick off summit in southern Puglia, Italy |  Political news
G7 leaders to kick off summit in southern Puglia, Italy |  Political news


Additional aid to Ukraine, the war in Gaza and investments in Africa will dominate the agenda of the three-day forum.

Bari, Italy Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are preparing for a three-day summit to discuss world affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia).

The event kicks off on Thursday at Borgo Egnazia, a luxury resort surrounded by olive groves in the style of a medieval village and popular with celebrities including popstar Madonna.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, host of this year's summit, will welcome heads of state from the seven members, namely the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the Kingdom -United, as well as the heads of the European Council. and the European Commission.

As the like-minded group attempts to shed its reputation as a club for wealthy Westerners, Italy has invited more than 10 other countries to hold discussions on the sidelines. These include Mohamed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Notably absent are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which, according to a list seen by Al Jazeera, had been invited.

The timing couldn't be better for Meloni, who will chair the summit as Europe's rising star following his far-right party's victory in recent European Parliament elections that saw a rightward shift across the continent.

I am proud to go to the G7 with the strongest government of all, declared the Prime Minister on her way to Puglia.

An antenna.  view of the seaside resort of Borgo Egnazia.  It is in the style of a medieval village and has two swimming pools side by side.
The luxurious Borgo Egnazia resort is a contemporary take on a medieval village [Giuseppe Lami/EPA]

Africa and the Mediterranean, two key national security issues, will feature prominently at the summit. Meloni is expected to expand his flagship foreign policy, the so-called Mattei Plan. The project aims to position Italy as a major energy hub between Europe and the African continent in the hope of boosting growth in Africa and, therefore, curbing immigration to Europe.

Support for Ukraine is also a priority. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to arrive on the first day of the summit for two sessions devoted to the war-torn country. The most anticipated outcome of the G7 is an agreement on a $50 billion loan for Ukraine, backed by profits generated by frozen Russian assets in the West, shortly after Moscow launches its full-scale invasion in February 2022 An Italian source told Al Jazeera that there was political will to announce a deal at the summit, although some technical issues need to be resolved.

Such a deal, the source said, would send a strong message of unity with kyiv at a time when Ukrainian troops are in retreat and Moscow is making steady progress in the country's east and north. A potential change in the White House during November's U.S. election has added to the urgency.

Another session will focus on the Middle East, where Israel's war on Gaza is expected to dominate negotiations. Observers say the leaders are likely to reiterate their previous positions, whether calling on Hamas to accept the ceasefire deal proposed by US President Joe Biden or recognizing the importance of a two-state solution for peace in the region.

Among the guests, there will also be Pope Francis, this is the first time that a pontiff has been invited to the summit for a session devoted to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will then focus on migration, financial issues and the situation in Asia-Pacific.

A final statement is expected on Saturday. It is generally a document that indicates the direction that group members intend to take in developing future policies while providing the rest of the world a window into their priorities.




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