June 16, 2009 / 1:52 AM / 10 years ago

Berlusconi eyes concrete results for G8 summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday, called for concrete results on financial regulation, climate change and trade at next month’s G8 summit of world leaders.

President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the Oval Office of the White House, June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Berlusconi, who will host the gathering in Italy, laid out his agenda for the Group of Eight, highlighting food security, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and boosting the world economy as key priorities.

“We want this G8 to reach concrete solutions,” Berlusconi told reporters after meeting with Obama at the White House.

The Italian prime minister noted efforts by G8 economy ministers to develop a body of principles to prevent a major economic crisis similar to the current one from happening again, while adding that he and Obama believed a final agreement on those rules was unlikely at the July meeting.

“We both agreed on the fact that the G8 will certainly not be able to produce this body of rules, but this is going to be just one of the steps leading to that drafting of rules,” Berlusconi said.

“There will be then the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, which will work on it, but the hope is to finally reach a body of rules which can be shared by everybody.”

The Italian prime minister said he hoped World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy’s presence at the meeting would jumpstart the moribund Doha Round of trade talks.

“We hope that by inviting Lamy, who is the director of the WTO, to attend the G8 summit, that we can try and give another push to the Doha Round, hoping to achieve positive results,” he said.

Obama, who will visit Russia before attending the G8 meeting in Italy, said he hoped nuclear non-proliferation would also be on the group’s agenda.

“Prime Minister Berlusconi, who has strong relationships with the Russians, was able to offer some insight in terms of how to approach reductions in nuclear arsenals,” Obama said.

“And that hopefully is going to be a topic at the G8 summit, as well.”

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Eric Beech

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