G8: Italy 'to involve others more'

10:44, 05 December 2008
World
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 The third day will see...

Italy plans to step up the involvement of G5 and other important non-G8 countries when it takes over the Group of Eight next year, Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday, according to Ansa news in English.

The eight G8 members will meet on the first day of talks and the G5 (China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa) as well as Egypt will be brought in on the second day, he said.

The third day will see the involvement of Australia, Indonesia and other major African countries, the Italian premier said.

He stressed that countries which ``have emerged and are no longer emerging`` will have a full say in sessions and will not be restricted to working lunches.

Italy has pressed hard for an Egyptian role because of Egypt`s status in the Middle East and Africa where it is ``widely heard``, Berlusconi said.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the environment will be another top priority with expectations that the United States, China and India will do more to meet climate change requirements.

Another key goal of Italy`s G8 term, Frattini said, is to achieve progress on terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Italy plans to hold a major regional conference in Trieste in June aimed at stabilising the two countries, Frattini said.

The G5 and Egypt will be invited to the planned conference in Trieste in June.

``Obviously it will also be necessary to involve Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey,`` Frattini said in an excerpt from an interview with Italian newsweekly Panorama which appears on Friday.

He said the conference will aim to draw up the first road map to defuse the Islamist terrorist threat ``which has its roots and bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan``.

``This conference represents the model of governance we have in mind,`` said Frattini who has stressed Italy`s main goal for its G8 term will be to foster moves towards a new global governance for economic and security issues.

He also told Panorama that Italy will become a more visible target for terrorists when it takes over G8 presidency next year.

On Wednesday Frattini warned that Italy can no longer be considered only a ``logistical base`` for terrorists after two Moroccans were arrested Tuesday on charges of planning attacks on targets in Milan and towns in the Lombardy region. Berlusconi and Frattini were speaking Thursday at the presentation of the Italian logo for its G8 term, which shows the Sardinian island of La Maddalena where next year`s G8 summit will take place on July 8-10.

Italian security experts are already discussing measures to prevent trouble at the summit after the ``traumatic experience`` of Genoa in 2001 where violence, a heavy-handed police response and the death of a protester marred the event, Berlusconi added. The G8 is a forum for the world`s most industrialised democracies. Its current members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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