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G8 and NATO Summits Bring World Leaders to U.S.

Washington, DC
Friday, May 18, 2012

President Obama hosts G8 leaders at Camp David Friday and Saturday before traveling to Chicago for the NATO summit on Sunday and Monday. The G8 countries will focus largely on economic issues, while the NATO meeting will focus on Afghanistan and the International Security Forces.

On Friday, the new French President, Francois Hollande, will make his first trip to the U.S., meeting with President Obama at the White House and attending a lunch hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, before traveling to Camp David for the G8 Summit.

Leaders from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia will meet at Camp David, the Presidential Retreat, on Friday and Saturday. All but Russia are sending their heads of government.  Russia announced that President Vladimir Putin, who was recently elected to a third term after serving four years as Prime Minister, will not be attending. Former President Dmitri Medvedev will attend in his place.

On Friday evening, the leaders meet for a dinner focusing on regional and political issues. On Saturday, five sessions will take on topics from the economy to the Middle East and North Africa. President Obama is expected to make a statement at the conclusion of the summit on Saturday evening.

The fiscal health of the Eurozone is expected to be a key topic of discussion. With the election of Hollande this month, French voters sent a signal that they were unhappy with the austerity measures being imposed on them by the European community, led by Germany's Angela Merkel. Greece, with its caretaker government and popular protests, has also indicated it may be unwilling to continue with austerity measures.

The President then travels to Chicago for a meeting of NATO countries, which will include more than 60 nations and organizations, like the European Union and World Bank. Prior to the start of the summit, President Obama will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Afghanistan is expected to be the central focus of the summit.

President Obama traveled to Afghanistan recently to sign an agreement with President Karzai on the relationship between the two countries after NATO forces leave at the end of next year. Most countries expect NATO troops to play a continuing advisory role and a continued need for international aid well into the future.

Additionally, this summit is expected to lay out a plan for the future role of NATO after the war in Afghanistan. NATO forces played a key role in Libya during that country's uprising last year and other "Arab Spring" nations have called on the group for assistance.

Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 at 10:37am (ET)

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