Pope to meet Biden, Zelenksy, Modi at G7 summit

Pope to meet Biden, Zelenksy, Modi at G7 summit

VATICAN CITY (AFP): Pope Francis will meet with US President Joe Biden, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and India’s Narendra Modi at the G7 summit in Italy, the Vatican said Thursday.

Francis, the first ever pope to attend a Group of Seven rich nations summit, has been invited by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to address a session on artificial intelligence (AI) in Puglia on Friday.

The 87-year-old, who arrives by helicopter at 12:30 p.m. local time (1030 GMT), is also expected to talk about the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine during a series of bilateral meetings.

As well as Zelensky, Biden and Modi, Francis will sit down with France’s Emmanuel Macron, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva.

He will also meet privately with Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Türkiye’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Algeria’s Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the Vatican said.

Francis appeals regularly for peace but Vatican efforts to find a diplomatic solution in Ukraine have yet to bear fruit.

The leaders of the G7, which brings together Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US, are meeting Thursday and Friday in the luxurious seaside resort of Borgo Egnazia in southern Italy.