Several issues are expected to top the agenda during the two-day annual Group of Eight summit which starts on Thursday.
As always the global economy will figure strongly, notably the financial burdens faced by G8 nations -especially Europe’s debt crisis. Nuclear safety in the wake of Japan’s crippled Fukushima power plant may also be a key talking point.
In terms of global security, the Arab spring, which first began in Tunisia and then Egypt, is expected to feature heavily during discussions. In particular, how to find a way to break the current impasse in Libya. Some expect Russia to propose a possible mediation plan. Concerning Syria the US, France and Britain are also thought to be pushing for UN condemnation of the crackdown by Damascus against pro-democracy protesters.
The impact of the internet is also likely to crop up, with this year’s G8 host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in favour of tighter regulatory controls over the world-wide web.
Finally, although not part of the agenda, the future head of the International Monetary Fund could be unofficially decided if Europe can persuade the US and Japan to support its candidate.