President Biden to Attend G7 Summit in Puglia, Italy

President Joe Biden is set to travel to Puglia, Italy, to attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit from June 13–15. The summit, hosted by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, will bring together leaders from the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Canada. Taking place at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia resort, the summit holds significant importance for President Biden, who aims to emphasize the importance of alliances and oppose isolationism.

During the summit, Pope Francis will participate in a special session on artificial intelligence (AI), marking the first time a pontiff has joined the work of a G7 summit. The discussions will focus on the ethical implications of AI, particularly its role in spreading disinformation, foreign interference, and election interference.

Ahead of the summit, G7 finance ministers deliberated on the legality of using approximately $250 billion worth of frozen assets held in European accounts as collateral for providing a loan to Ukraine for reconstruction. President Biden had previously reached an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron on utilizing these frozen Russian assets. The proposal under discussion involves using the interest earned from these assets as collateral to provide Ukraine with a loan through a sovereign lender.

President Biden’s visit to Italy follows his recent trip to France, where he commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day and engaged in bilateral discussions with President Macron. During their meeting, President Biden apologized to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for delays in passing a foreign aid measure, pledging $225 million in new assistance for Ukraine.

China’s economic coercion and harmful tactics, including industrial overcapacity, are expected to be discussed at the summit. The U.S. and European governments have expressed concerns about China’s excess capacity and its impact on the development and innovation of industries in other countries.

The European Parliament elections, which took place before the summit, are not expected to impact President Biden’s relationship with European leaders. The White House remains confident in its collaboration with democratically elected leaders across the European continent.