Keep everything tied up, take care of every last detail, make sure nothing can go wrong. Giorgia Meloni arrived on Monday in Borgo Egnazia, in Puglia, to check that everything was ready for the G7 summit that began this Thursday under the Italian presidency. He carried in his luggage the victory achieved at the polls on Sunday, when his party, the far-right Brothers of Italy, once again won the most votes in a European election in which the leaders of Germany and France – the other EU powers present at the meeting—came out bruised. Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron arrived at the meeting inevitably weakened, as did the British Rishi Sunak, a candidate already considered the loser of the next elections in the United Kingdom. Nor did the president of the United States, Joe Biden, attend the summit in his best moment. Not even the Canadian Justin Trudeau, in the midst of a decline in popularity.

With this panorama, Meloni, the only woman at the head of a G7 country, sought at the summit her international consecration and to demonstrate that under her leadership, the weakest G7 in years would be capable of “delivering concrete and measurable results,” as she said. in the welcome message to his counterparts seated around an olive wood table, the tree chosen for the meeting’s logo. “The centenary olive tree with solid roots and foliage projected into the future,” Meloni explained.

But the balance between the past and the future failed in the preamble to the meeting, when, while the leaders arrived at the luxury resort chosen for the meeting, the controversy, which broke out on Wednesday, continued over the disappearance of the reference to protection. to the abortion of the draft of the final conclusions of the summit. A change attributed to the Italian presidency, although the Government in Rome was quick to say that no one had asked for a change and that the final conclusions would be the result of an agreement.

The G7 commitment to kyiv

The controversy ended up grabbing many headlines and overshadowing at least in part the first concrete and important result of the meeting: the agreement to provide new financial aid to Ukraine, through a loan for a total of 50 billion euros that will be financed with the interest generated. by frozen Russian assets, mostly in European banks. The money will be used to finance the purchase of weapons and begin to rebuild the country’s damaged infrastructure. An important result for the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelesnky, at a time when Russia is making progress on the military front by testing the Ukrainian defense. Zelesky traveled to Apulia to participate in person in the session of the meeting dedicated to Ukraine and that this Friday he will be one of the 10 heads of state who will meet for a bilateral meeting with Pope Francis, the first pontiff to participate in the summit, which In 2025 it will celebrate its 50th edition.

“This is a clear signal to the Russian president so that he understands that he cannot expect our aid to Ukraine to cease due to fiscal problems,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement without questions to the media, calling it “historic.” ” the summit decision. “Now we have to work on its implementation,” he added. The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, expressed along the same lines. “It is a strong signal that we are sending to Ukraine that we will support them in their fight for freedom as long as necessary, but also for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, who cannot prevail over us,” he celebrated at the end of the first day of the summit. “The message is also that it is not the European taxpayers who are paying for the damage that Putin is causing with his war of aggression, because it will be the extraordinary profits from the frozen assets in Europe that will contribute to this 50 billion euro loan. for Ukraine,” he added.

Meloni, confirming at the end of the day that the agreement had been reached, said: “841 days have passed since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. During this long period, the heroic resistance of Ukrainians has prevented Putin from carrying out his plan, and the unity and unity of purpose of the West has ensured that the attacked nation receives the help it needs to defend its freedom.

In a message on “I am grateful to all our partners.” Shortly after, he signed a bilateral security agreement with Biden for the next 10 years.

Support for the US plan for the truce in Gaza

The agreement on Ukraine left the other important issue on the agenda on the first day of the summit on the back burner: Gaza. At the end of the first day, it was Meloni herself who confirmed what was circulating with the first leaks of the draft of the G7 conclusions on the Middle East: “I confirm the unanimous support for the United States proposal for a ceasefire, the release of hostages and the support and protection of the civilian population.” The proposal is the one presented on May 31 by President Joe Biden and that the United Nations Security Council supported last Monday with the approval of a resolution for a ceasefire presented by the US. The text passed with 14 votes in favor and Russia abstaining.

“We have agreed to spare no effort to avoid an escalation and a lasting political solution to the crisis with the objective of ‘two peoples, two States’,” said the Italian prime minister, from the Borgo Egnazia golf course, where The leaders took the second family photo of the day, before participating in the dinner hosted by the president of the Repubblica of Italy, Sergio Mattarella. From there, it was Biden himself, who will not participate in the event because he was too tired, who ruled out the possibility of a ceasefire being achieved soon. Asked about it by the journalists present, he answered with a laconic “no.”


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