The Canadian Press reports, “G8 leaders meet at the lush presidential retreat of Camp David beginning Friday, before moving on to Chicago for meetings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”
“At both meetings, the future of Afghanistan will be on the table, both in economic and security terms. An estimated $4.1 billion is believed to be required to sustain Afghan security forces after the international military presence in the country ends in 2014 and the U.S. doesn’t want to be stuck with the bill. Australia, Great Britain and Germany have already opened their wallets but Canadian officials have been coy on to what extent Canada will follow their lead.”
“While Afghanistan will command a great deal of attention at the summits, the major focus of the G8 meetings will be Europe’s precarious financial position. …The focus on the economy marks a shift for the G8 leaders, said John Kirton, director of the G8 Research Group out of the University of Toronto. In years past, the much broader G20 group has taken the economy as its focus, while the G8 has dealt with issues of global security and development. But the European countries at the heart of the G8 are mindful that a deteriorating economic situation could have disastrous political consequences, Kirton said. What’s on their mind, Kirton said, is that it wasn’t just the depression of the 1930s that was the problem for Europe, but the rise of extreme right-wing politics that followed.”
“The G8 meetings will also mark the introduction of new French President Francois Hollande to the global diplomatic circuit. It’s expected Harper will have a one-on-one meeting with Hollande as Canada and the EU continue to work toward a free-trade deal.”
Council of Canadians vice-chairperson and Charlottetown chapter activist Leo Broderick arrived in Frederick, Maryland (about 28 kilometres south of Camp David) yesterday. Today, he will attend the Peoples’ Summit at the C. Burr Artz Public Library and tomorrow he will take part in the march and rally against the G8.
For more on the ‘Occupy the G8′ protests, please go to http://occupywallst.org/article/people-organize-protest-g8-present-alternative-eco/.