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ITALY 25-27 Jun 2009 G8 foreign ministers meet in Trieste

When the foreign ministers of the G8 group of major industrialized countries meet in Trieste they will be putting together the agenda for the G8 summit in La Maddalena in July. The United States is said to be pressing for the inclusion of Iran when the ministers discuss problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The fringe will be watched for bilateral meetings between Russia and Japan and the United States and Iran.

The situation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, particularly in the area of the Swat Valley, where an offensive against the Taliban is under way, is a key concern for the ministers. After meeting US Secretary of Defense Hilary Clinton in Washington DC recently, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reported that an obective will be having the Iranian and American foreign ministers seated at the same table." Iran and the United States attended a meeting on Afghanistan in March in The Hague, on the margins of which the Obama administration carried out its first direct contacts with the Islamic republic

On May 12 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged further development of bilateral trade and economic ties with Japan in order to create the necessary conditions for signing a future peace treaty. A territorial issue stands in the way of the treaty. The dispute is over the Kuriles, a chain of islands some 700 miles long between Russia and Japan that came into Soviet hands as a result of WWII. All of the islands are under Russian jurisdiction. Japan claims the southernmost four as part of its territory. Russia's insists Japan can't have them. The economic benefits of a settlement could eventually resolve the dispute, and there has been some speculation that a breakthrough could be announced at the La Maddalena summit.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States make up the G8. May/09

Source: http://www.newsahead.com/preview/2009/06/25/italy-25-27-jun-2009-g8-foreign-ministers-meet-in-trieste/index.php