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Putin arrives in Belfast for G8 summit

June 17, 2013, 17:38 UTC+3

The first plenary meeting on Monday afternoon will focus on the current state of the global economy

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BELFAST, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has ended his working visit to London and arrived in Belfast on Monday, June 17.

In Belfast he will board a helicopter to go to Lough Erne for a G8 summit to be held there.

Putin and the other leaders will discuss issues selected by Britain, which currently holds presidency in the Group of Eight, as priority ones and take over the G8 presidency.

Priority issues selected by Britain include ways to spur international trade as one of the driving forces for the global economy, tax cooperation, and greater transparency of the public and private sectors.

“A substantive exchange of opinions will be held on the economic situation in the G8 countries, problems and prospects related to post-crisis global economic recovery,” presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

He expects the G8 leaders to pay attention to the creation of bilateral, regional and trans-regional free trade zones, and to discuss interaction within the World Trade Organisation.

The first plenary meeting on Monday afternoon will focus on the current state of the global economy.

The second round of consultations to be held later in the day at a working luncheon will traditionally be devoted to international issues, such as “foreign policy and security: the situation in Syria, Libya, Middle East, and North Africa, around North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan,” Ushakov said. “These topics were agreed upon in advance and the leaders are prepared to have an informal exchange of views on them.”

At the same time, the aide does not rule that “the Syrian issue alone may ‘eat up’ a half of the dinner”, meaning that the question will most likely dominate the discussion.

Putin will also hold a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. In addition to the talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron, he is scheduled to confer with U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On the second day of the summit, the leaders will hold a separate meeting to discuss counter-terrorist cooperation within the Group of Eight.

The G9 leaders will adopt a communique.

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