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G8 Leaders Focus on Climate, Fuel and Food

  • VOA News

Leaders of the Group of Eight nations meet in Japan on Monday to discuss how to tackle climate change, soaring fuel prices and the global food crisis.

The annual G-8 summit on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido brings together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a Japanese newspaper (Yomiuri Shimbun) that he expects the G-8 to address the food crisis by urging more countries to lift restrictions on food exports. Such a move would give needy countries access to the surplus food of richer nations.

Before the G-8 talks begin today, US President George Bush will meet his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. Officials say the two leaders will discuss trade, US plans to build a missile defense system in Europe and other issues.

Mr. Bush said Sunday that G-8 cannot solve the global warming problem unless China and India agree to limit greenhouse gas emissions together with rich nations.

Mr. Sarkozy also told the Yomiuri newspaper that he has received international support for his idea to create a group of agricultural experts to help governments deal with the food crisis.

G-8 leaders also meet Monday with counterparts from several African countries to discuss efforts to alleviate poverty on the continent.

The three-day summit ends Wednesday a larger gathering that includes Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and South Africa.

Pope Benedict urged summit participants Sunday to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable at the top of their agenda in an effort to fight poverty around the world.

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