G8 start working meetings in Scotland

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GLENEAGLES (Scotland), 7 July (RIA Novosti, Alexander Smotrov, Anna Bobina)--The leaders of the informal club of the world's most industrialized nations, the G8, will get down to work Thursday at their summit at the Gleneagles Hotel outside Edinburgh.

Yesterday evening the leaders of G8 nations - Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia, the United States, France and Japan - arrived in Scotland, where they and their wives attended a ceremonial dinner given by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The first morning session of summit on Thursday will focus on the world economy and climate change. The leaders of the five biggest developing nations - India, China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa will join the proceedings after lunch. The secretary-general of the United Nations, and the heads of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will also attend the meetings in the afternoon.

Foreign policy discussions will continue after dinner.

Sir Michael Jay, the official representative of the British prime minister to the G8 told journalists immediately prior to the summit that Britain was hoping to achieve a consensus decision on climate change, even though he admitted differences on the problem remained among the G8 leaders.

James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank chairman and the current special envoy of the Middle East peace process quartet (Russia, the EU, UN and U.S.) will inform the G8 leaders about the situation in the region during the foreign policy session after dinner.

British premier Tony Blair said on Saturday that a certain "specific initiative" on the Middle East would be discussed at the meeting in Scotland. Sir Michael said that the G8 leaders would themselves select issues they would discuss, so other international problems were likely to be raised.

The wives of the G8 leaders will follow a different program. They will attend a discussion on women and children in Africa on Thursday.

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