G8 summit opens in Italian earthquake-hit townJuly 8th, 2009 - 7:31 pm ICT by IANS
L’Aquila (Italy), July 8 (DPA) The leaders of the world’s eight most powerful developed nations met in the Italian town of L’Aquila Wednesday for three days of talks on global issues such as climate change, trade and financial reform.
The presidents of the US, Russia and France, the prime ministers of Britain, Canada, Italy and Japan and the chancellor of Germany met in the mediaeval town three months after it was rocked by an earthquake, which killed almost 300 people.
The heads of the European Union’s executive body and rotating presidency were also present.
The G8 summit was set to be joined on Thursday by leaders from Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico to discuss issues of trade, climate change and aid to farmers in the developing world.
China’s president had been set to attend, but was forced to fly home on the eve of the summit to deal with ethnic riots in the northwestern city of Urumqi.
The summit, hosted by Italy, which currently holds the G8’s rotating presidency, was originally planned for the Mediterranean island of La Maddalena, off Sardinia.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi decided to move it to L’Aquila as a sign of solidarity with earthquake victims.
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