G7 summit kicks off in Germany

BENOIT TESSIER/POOL/ AFP

Since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine, the first in-person gathering of the world's seven leading economies kicked off in Germany on Sunday with leaders discussing the war-driven food and energy crises.

The three-day event is taking place at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, with its agenda considered more urgent than ever as the war in Ukraine continues.

Having taken the G7 presidency from the UK in January, Germany has set a goal of “progress towards an equitable world”.

Under the theme, issues such as a sustainable planet, economic stability and transformation, healthy lives, and sustainable investments will be discussed.

As the UN has repeatedly warned of an "unprecedented global hunger crisis" as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, the G7 leaders are expected to make new commitments to food security and tackling rising energy prices.

The situation in Ukraine is expected to top the agenda with leaders promising more help to the country.

"We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. The negative global impact of Russia’s war will be front and centre of our exchanges at the G7," said EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.

Also, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made it once again clear that the government will continue to support Ukraine.

“Now is not the time to give up on Ukraine, they need the support and resolve of the G7 more than ever," he said on Twitter. "The UK will continue to back Ukraine every step of the way because we know that their security is our security, and their freedom is our freedom," he added.

Johnson is expected to tell the summit leaders that President Zelenskyy needs Western backing more than ever.

According to the UK government statement, the UK is ready to guarantee another half a billion dollars in loans to the Ukrainian government, bringing the total UK economic and humanitarian support to over £1.5 billion (AED 6.76 billion).

US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are attending the summit.

In addition to the seven states, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Senegal, and Argentina are also invited.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to speak at two sessions that include issues like the environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality, and democracy.

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, the heads of state and government of partner countries, and chairpersons of the international organizations will also be involved via a video link.

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