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Business News/ News / India/  What to expect from G7 foreign ministers' meet in Italy: Mideast crisis, sanctions on Iran, support for Ukraine
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What to expect from G7 foreign ministers' meet in Italy: Mideast crisis, sanctions on Iran, support for Ukraine

The meeting of the Group of Seven (G7) Foreign Affairs Ministers' in Italy on Wednesday holds significance amid the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Here's what's expected at the meeting.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani walks on the day of a G7 foreign ministers meeting, at the Certosa di San Giacomo on Capri island, Italy, April 17, 2024. (REUTERS)Premium
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani walks on the day of a G7 foreign ministers meeting, at the Certosa di San Giacomo on Capri island, Italy, April 17, 2024. (REUTERS)

Italy held its first of the two Group of Seven (G7) Foreign Affairs Ministers' meeting on Wednesday, laying a special focus on the Middle-East conflict. The meeting is scheduled to take place on the Italian island of Capri from April 17 to 19. The G7 includes France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the United States, Canada and Japan.

The meeting holds significance amid the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. As per the statement, "the continuing escalation of tensions between Israel and Iran and the wars in Gaza and in Ukraine will dominate the agenda of the ministers."

What's expected at the meeting?

1. Middle East situation

The G7 ministers will discuss the Middle East situation on Thursday morning, news agency AFP reported. Iran's latest attack on Israel mounted tensions in the Middle East region, with the Iran-backed Hezbollah group exchanging fire across the border with Israel almost daily since the incursion.

"...the pursuit of a meaningful and effective political approach towards the ‘two peoples, two States’ solution will be among the topics under discussion," an official statement read. The meeting will explore a path towards a credible political solution to guarantee peace and security in the region.

2. Sanctions against Iran

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who is hosting the talks, confirmed that the ministers were "working" on some kind of sanctions against Iran, news agency AFP reported,

The US, Israel's top ally, also vowed to level more sanctions, including targeting Iran's missile and drone programme. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also said Brussels is working to expand sanctions against Iran.

Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel last weekend. Iran’s president recently warned that the “tiniest invasion" by Israel would bring a “massive and harsh" response. The Iranian attack was in response to a deadly strike on Iran's Damascus consulate, widely blamed on Israel.

3. Red Sea situation

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which have disrupted global shipping, will also be discussed at the G7 meeting. The Houthis, backed by Iran, used the war in Gaza as a pretext for missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

"The G7 Foreign Affairs Ministers will also address the tense situation in the Red Sea, focusing in particular on the safety of shipping and the impact of regional tensions on trade routes, especially to the Mediterranean," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Tajani said that European foreign ministers want to impose new sanctions on those who arm Israel's foes and those who attack ships in the Red Sea.

4. Russia-Ukraine war

Following a discussion on the Red Sea situation, the leaders will then join special guests NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba for talks on the war in Ukraine.

"G7 foreign ministers will discuss support for a Ukrainian air defence system at their meeting in Capri on Wednesday," a German government spokesperson said. "We want to support the freedom and independence of Kyiv," Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani of Italy was quoted by AFP as saying.

"The Italian Presidency intends to confirm the G7’s solid and all-round support for Kyiv, providing military, political and financial assistance in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace.

The Italian Presidency "intends to confirm the G7’s solid and all-round support for Kyiv (Ukraine's capital), providing military, political and financial assistance in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace".

5. Indo Pacific region

The discussions on Friday will focus on tensions in the Indo-Pacific, before Italy holds a final news conference. "The stability of the Indo-Pacific region, a priority area for political balances and world trade, will also be discussed," the statement on the G7 website read.

As per the European Parliament, the Indian Ocean hosts some of the fastest growing economies in the world and connects these economies with both the Atlantic Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region, making the Indo-Pacific a region of tremendous geostrategic importance. For over a decade, China has been increasing its maritime presence and its ambitions in the region and beyond.

Among other topics, the foreign ministers will also discuss "building equal partnership with Africa" and major global issues that will include deliberations on "food security, energy security, the fight against climate change, cyber security and Artificial Intelligence".

 

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Published: 17 Apr 2024, 10:56 PM IST
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