Obama Hosting Leaders for G-8, NATO Summits

Posted May 17th, 2012 at 5:00 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting world leaders for back-to-back summits where Afghanistan, Iran and world economies are expected to be discussed.

U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon briefed reporters on the G-8 meeting taking place outside Washington Friday and Saturday, and the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday and Monday.

He says the world leaders are expected to discuss global oil markets when they meet for the G-8 summit at the presidential retreat of Camp David. He says the leaders will likely have broad discussions on the range of options with the oil markets, in light of sanctions against Iran.

Donilon says the leaders are expected to discuss Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the global economy, with a particular focus on the situation in Europe. He says the talks come at a “delicate” time in regards to the European economy and the eurozone.

Other topics at the G-8 are to include energy and climate, the Afghan economic transition, the transition in the Middle East and North Africa. There will also be discussions on food security with invited African leaders, from Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania.

Moving on to the NATO summit, Donilon says the meeting of the alliance is an opportunity to discuss the transition of Afghan forces taking the security lead from international forces. Donilon notes the talks will build on progress made and plans the president talked about in a recent visit to Afghanistan.

“Chicago is a critical milestone in the next step towards a responsible ending of this war, towards our achieving, very importantly, our goals in this effort in Afghanistan and really kind of the execution of the strategy that the president laid out in his speech at Bagram.”

He says President Obama will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the talks Sunday. He says there are no plans at the moment to hold a private meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Islamabad closed supply routes to NATO nearly six months ago to protest U.S. airstrikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border.

Pakistani officials demanded an unconditional apology for the deadly NATO air strikes. But Washington only offered condolences and Islamabad retaliated by cutting off NATO ground supply routes. The U.S. withdrew as much as $3 billion of promised military aid, as relations with Pakistan deteriorated.