China tensions and wars in Gaza, Ukraine loom over G7 talks in Italy

China AP - Kenny Holston
AP - Kenny Holston

Leaders from seven of the world's richest countries are meeting in Italy from Thursday for a three-day gathering that will largely focus on the wars in Europe and the Middle East as well as growing tensions between the West and China. 

The annual G7 summit, being held in the picturesque region of Puglia on the Adriatic Sea, brings together France, Germany, the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, Japan and the European Union for informal group conversations and one-on-one talks. 

This year's event, the 50th, will host a record number of guests.  

Invitations have been extended to Pope Francis, Jordan's King Abdullah II and leaders from Ukraine, India, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, the UAE, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania.  

Heads of global organisations including the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the African Development Bank also will be present for discussions that will include climate change, development in Africa and artificial intelligence.  

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend a session about Ukraine on the first day, when participants will discuss using frozen Russian central bank assets to aid the war-hit country. 

Key topics to watch: 

The G7 Summit serves as a critical platform where major economies discuss global governance and finance issues.

Its influence has waned, however, as global economic power shifts towards Asia and emerging economies.  

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024