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Turkey’s Erdogan to attend Italy G7 summit, perhaps also MbS

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is the latest addition to the guest list at a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy next month, the Rome government said on Wednesday, as it seeks to broaden the gathering beyond the usual seven industrial democracies.

Several African and South American countries have been invited to the so-called outreach meetings, Reuters reported in April, and this week Italy said United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, would also be attending.

Italy this year holds the rotating presidency of the G7 – which also includes the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Japan – and will host the summit at the resort of Borgo Egnazia, in the southern region of Puglia, on June 13-15.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may also be present, sources close to the matter told Reuters, though his attendance has not yet been officially confirmed.

Bin Salman drew international outrage after some western nations accused him of having a role in the 2018 murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He has denied involvement in the killing.

Critics say the G7 operates as an elite club of wealthy nations. Looking to appear more inclusive and less aloof, it has been inviting other leaders for a number of years, hoping to bolster consensus on critical issues such as Ukraine and relations with China.

Pope Francis will also be among those attending the Puglia meeting, where he will discuss the challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence.

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