Biden’s Awkward Greeting with Italian Prime Minister at G7 Summit

During the G7 summit in the southern Puglia region, US President Joe Biden found himself in an awkward moment as he greeted Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Biden, 81, arrived late to the summit and was welcomed by Italy’s first female prime minister.

As the two leaders met on the platform, Biden shook hands with Meloni and even kissed her on the head. After a brief conversation, Meloni directed Biden’s attention to a picture frame displaying the G7 emblem, where the heads of state were to sign it with a marker. As Biden prepared to leave the platform, he attempted an awkward halfway salute towards Meloni.

Following this encounter, Biden joined the rest of the G7 leaders, including Justin Trudeau, Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, and Fumio Kishida, for a group photo. Meloni expressed her hope that the summit would foster solidarity and meaningful discussions with the global south, drawing a parallel to the thousand-year-old olive trees that hold cultural significance in the Puglia region.

The G7 summit serves as an informal forum for seven member countries, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, to discuss economic policy and security matters. This year’s summit, running until Saturday, will address global conflicts, the impact of artificial intelligence, and issues affecting Africa, with a particular focus on Italy’s concerns regarding migration from the continent to Europe.

One of the key topics at the summit is the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The G7 nations have agreed to provide significant support to Ukraine, including a $50 billion loan by the end of the year. This loan will be backed by frozen Russian assets, with nearly $300 billion currently frozen in Western countries since the start of the Russian invasion in 2022.

While the agreement has been reached in principle, the technical and legal details still need to be finalized. The G7 summit will also witness a historic moment as Pope Francis becomes the first pope to address the gathering. He is expected to discuss the potential dangers of artificial intelligence and renew his appeal for a peaceful resolution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.