Home News G7 leaders expand focus to immigration and the South

G7 leaders expand focus to immigration and the South

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The Group of Seven leaders will share the stage on Friday with leaders of India, Brazil, Turkey and other non-Western countries to showcase the changing global landscape on the second day of the summit.

Among the thorny issues on the agenda is immigration, which has fueled a resurgence of populist and far-right parties in Europe and the U.S. The leaders will also discuss economic competition with China, security in the Indo-Pacific region and the West’s relations with what is collectively known as the Global South, which roughly includes Latin America, Africa and much of the Middle East and Asia.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meroni, who is hosting the meeting, said the aim of expanding the guest list was to “strengthen the dialogue with the countries of the global South”. She insisted that the G7 was “not a closed fortress in itself” but “our values ​​open to the world”.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also stressed the importance of strengthening ties with partners outside the bloc, especially countries in the global South, as the world faces challenges such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas, which threatens to spread to Lebanon.

Attention will be on leaders such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, showing that the West is less dominant than it once was over the world’s population and economy and that it is listening to calls for more fairness and balance in major decisions.

Topics will include economic security, Africa, the southern Mediterranean and the challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

How to control immigration has been a problem for years in the United States and Europe, compounded by the effects of climate change and wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Ukraine. It is a particularly sensitive issue for Meroni, who has been trying to combat what she calls “uncontrolled migration” from Africa and the Middle East into Italy and other parts of Europe.

While Europe has taken in thousands of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion, especially women and children, Ukrainian officials have urged their European counterparts to help them repatriate men of military age.

But much of the day will be devoted to one-on-one meetings between leaders, including with Pope Francis, who was invited by Ms. Meloni. After his speech, Francis will meet with President Biden, Modi, Lula, Kenyan President William Ruto, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Biden is expected to leave Italy in the afternoon and issue a final communique a few hours later in the evening. The other leaders will end the day’s visit with a concert and informal dinner. On Saturday, the leaders will hold more bilateral talks and a closing press conference.

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