G8 summit opens in Canada's Muskoka

10:08, June 26, 2010      

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G8 leaders and outreach nations gather for a group photo at the G8 Summit at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, June 25, 2010. Pictured top row, left to right: European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, South Africa President Jacob Zuma, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Bottom row, left to right: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Haitian President Rene Preval, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and US President Barack Obama. (Xinhua/Pool)
The annual Group of Eight (G8) summit opened on Friday in Huntsville, Canada's Muskoka region, with leaders of the world's eight major industrialized countries set to discuss key challenges related to development and international peace and security.

The Muskoka 2010 G8 summit, with the theme of "Recovery and New Beginnings," gathered British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy also joined the meeting, representing the European Union which has enjoyed observer status since 1977.

Heads of state or government from Algeria, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa were also invited to participate in the meeting.

At around 12:30 p.m. local time Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, whose country holds the rotating G8 presidency, appeared at the entrance of the summit venue, the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, to greet the G8 and EU leaders on red carpet one by one. They shook hands and posed for pictures before entering the venue for a working lunch.

Key topics to be discussed during the summit include the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), maternal, newborn and child health, food security, aid to Africa, and accountability of international forums including the G8 itself.

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