Spread the love

Justin Trudeau flies to Italy for the G7 Summit

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Ottawa, upon his departure for Italy on Wednesday

Nojoud Al Mallees – The Canadian Press in Ottawa

Published yesterday at 10:15 a.m.

  • Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew to Italy on Wednesday to attend the annual summit of G7 leaders, which will be held in a context where two major geopolitical conflicts are capturing the attention of the international community.

The meeting, which will take place over three days, will begin on Thursday in Puglia, Italy. The leaders should, among other things, discuss the war between Russia and Ukraine as well as the conflict between Israel and Hamas, but they should also talk about energy transition, artificial intelligence, migration and collaboration with Africa.

Afterward, Mr. Trudeau will attend the Ukraine Peace Summit, which will take place Saturday and Sunday in Switzerland, before returning to Ottawa.

“This is an agenda of unprecedented scale, interconnected, complex and demanding,” observed John Kirton, who is a professor of political science and leads the G7 research group at the University of Toronto .

The leaders of the G7 countries – Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Japan – meet annually to collaborate on common goals.

“In a world where many international institutions are paralyzed due to divisions, it is even more important that this group like-minded democratic countries can work together,” added Roland Paris, who is a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa and who served as a senior advisor to Mr. Trudeau in the past.

Energy transition, disinformation and foreign interference, as well as artificial intelligence will be among Canada's priorities at this year's summit, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Hectic context

Mr. Trudeau is also expected to use the summit to hold bilateral meetings with other world leaders. Canada will in turn host the G7 summit next year.

This week, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hosts the summit as the most stable leader in the European Union, while its German and French counterparts were shaken by the European parliamentary elections.

The results strengthened the position of Ms. Meloni’s far-right party in Italy. As host country, Italy plans to focus the summit on defending the “rules-based international system.”

“Russia's War of Aggression against Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding around the world. The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for global priorities,” reads the official website of this year's summit.

Mr. Paris does not expect major news from leaders on the war between Israel and Hamas, although it believes it is possible that breaking news could prompt the group to react, if necessary .

G7 leaders issued a statement last week endorsing the peace plan unveiled by US President Joe Biden, which would include an immediate ceasefire, the release of all Israeli hostages by Hamas and increased humanitarian aid to inhabitants of Gaza.

Ukraine at the heart of the discussions

The result The most anticipated of the summit could undoubtedly be a decision on the use of frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

Last month, G7 finance ministers indicated they were close to reaching agreement on a U.S. proposal to extract more money from frozen Russian assets in their countries and redirect it to support Ukraine.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is advocating an approach that would involve borrowing against future interest income from frozen assets. This could immediately give Ukraine up to $50 billion.

A final agreement on this, however, has not yet been reached.

“I think that finally the leaders themselves will make the long-awaited decision,” Mr. Kirton said.

For his part, Mr. Paris recalled that Ukraine needs three things: weapons, personnel and money. Canada, he said, can only help in one of these areas.

“We will not be able to provide personnel and our weapons stocks are limited. We must therefore financially support Ukraine,” he said.

The G7 Summit will be followed by the Ukraine Peace Summit. Swiss President Viola Amherd said Monday that nearly 90 countries and organizations, half of them from Europe, had confirmed their participation in the event.

Russia will not attend the summit, which was convened at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Swiss officials said the conference was aimed at charting a path forward towards “lasting peace” in Ukraine, to achieve a “common understanding” to get there, and to develop a road map on how to involve both sides in the talks.

With information from the Associated Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116