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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

UK PM Rishi Sunak to push for ‘decisive’ support for Ukraine at G7 Summit

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is set to dominate the agenda as leaders of the G7 – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and Japan – are hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni

PTI Bari (Italy) Published 13.06.24, 03:52 PM
Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak File photo

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations on Thursday began their three-day summit on global affairs in the southern Italian region of Apulia, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited for the Outreach session to be held on Friday.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is set to dominate the agenda as leaders of the G7 – the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and Japan – are hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia on the Adriatic coast.

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While India has reiterated its stance on “dialogue and diplomacy” as the best approach, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is leading calls for “decisive” efforts to support Ukraine “whatever it takes.” “We must be decisive and creative in our efforts to support Ukraine and end (Russian President) Putin’s illegal war at this critical moment,” Sunak said in a statement ahead of the summit talks.

“The UK remains at the forefront of the international response as we have been from the outset. We must move from ‘as long as it takes’ to ‘whatever it takes’ if we are to end this illegal war,” he said.

From left; European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pose for a family photo at a G7 world leaders summit at Borgo Egnazia, southern Italy, Thursday, June 13, 2024.

From left; European Council President Charles Michel, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pose for a family photo at a G7 world leaders summit at Borgo Egnazia, southern Italy, Thursday, June 13, 2024. AP/PTI

“From Ukraine to the Middle East, we will be discussing significant global threats at the summit. Such threats are why it is so vital to strengthen the UK’s national defence, through our commitment to spend 2.5 per cent of GDP on defence by 2030,” he added.

According to Downing Street, at the summit, Sunak will announce up to GBP 242 million in bilateral assistance to Ukraine, to support immediate humanitarian, energy and stabilisation needs, and lay the foundations for longer-term economic and social recovery and reconstruction.

“A priority for the PM at the Summit will be to work with partners to agree a way to use immobilised Russian assets to support Ukraine,” a Downing Street statement said.

Meanwhile, in his pre-visit media briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra recalled Modi's statement in September 2022 that “today's era is not of war.” “We have always maintained that dialogue and diplomacy is the best option,” he said, pointing to the consequences of the war such as an impact on food, fuel and fertiliser availability, challenges to global supply chains and disruptions in the global economy.

“We have always been in the forefront to talk about not just the conflict, the need for dialogue and diplomacy but also the way the conflict is impacting on the priorities and interests of the developing countries,” he said.

“We have always been at the forefront to offer assistance wherever we can to alleviate challenges faced by the Global South because of the conflict, humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and also to the Global South affected by conflict,” he added.

The Foreign Secretary said India will continue to share its perspective with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit, where Modi will participate in the Outreach session along with the other countries.

The session will be focused on issues relating to artificial intelligence (AI), energy, Africa and the Mediterranean.

Besides India, Italy –which holds the presidency – has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit in line with the summit tradition.

For Prime Minister Modi, who had attended the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May last year, the visit marks his first foreign tour after being re-elected for a third term.

He is expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines, including with US President Joe Biden.

The G7 leaders were welcomed by Italian PM Meloni, as the President of the Council of Ministers, who is keen to showcase the Apulia region’s many highlights.

Pope Francis will attend the summit on Friday, becoming the first pontiff to take part in a G7, and is set to talk about the need for ethical AI, as well as about efforts to bring about peace, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Massimo Bottura, a top Italian chef awarded seven Michelin Stars, is preparing the delicacies for the summit.

“I wish to thank Chef Bottura for accepting our invitation, and for using his art to promote Italian food and wine. We invited him not only because he is one of the world’s most famous ambassadors of Italian cuisine, but also because of his ability to combine aesthetics and ethics,” said Meloni.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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