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[Published: Sunday April 21 2024]

 Italy to invite African, South American leaders to G7 summit

By Angelo Amante
ROME, 21 April. - (ANA) - Italy is planning to invite leaders from several African countries as well as Argentina, Brazil and India to so-called outreach meetings at the Group of Seven (G7) summit that it will host in mid-June, a source close to the matter said.
The G7 comprises the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union. The leaders' summit will take place in Borgo Egnazia, a resort in the southeastern Puglia region on June 13-15.
The source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Kenya would all get invitations, along with representatives of the African Union.
South Africa, Brazil and India were expected to attend as members of the broader G20 forum, the source said, adding that invitations to other countries could follow.
Critics say the G7 operates as an elite club of wealthy nations. Looking to appear more inclusive and less aloof, the G7 has been inviting other global leaders for a number of years, hoping to bolster consensus on critical issues, such as Ukraine and relations with China.
Italy holds the rotating presidency of the G7 for 2024 and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said Africa development would be a core item in the discussions, along with tackling the dangers posed by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Meloni has made Africa a central plank of her foreign policy since taking office in late 2022, launching a project with a number of African states in January aimed at boosting economic ties, creating an energy hub for Europe and curbing immigration.
The war in Ukraine will also likely to be a central focus of the G7 talks, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy widely expected to attend the leaders' summit as he did last year when it took place in Japan.   - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/21 April 2024 - - - 

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