Pope Francis at the G7, The pontiff jokes with Meloni: “We are still alive”. And then he meets Zelensky. Biden applauds the prime minister for her support for Ukraine


By John

Pope Francis landed by helicopter in Borgo Egnazia, home of the Italian G7 presidency, the first to host a pontiff. Bergoglio was welcomed by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. He will participate in a session dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa and the Mediterranean, which will be open to the countries and international outreach organizations invited to the summit in Puglia. Meloni shook hands with the Pope as he descended the helicopter ladder. Helping himself with a cane, the pontiff walked a few meters to an electric golf cart with the symbols of the Vatican on the seats, where he took a seat next to the prime minister. Francesco made some effort to sit on the vehicle, then smiled jokingly with the Prime Minister, while the golf cart transported them towards the Borgo Egnazia resort, site of the summit in Puglia.

Minsk's complicity with Moscow over the war in Ukraine condemned

“We reiterate our condemnation of the Belarusian regime's complicity in Russia's war against Ukraine.” This is what is stated in the final G7 statement which ANSA has read. “We express our concern for the regime's continued repression of independent media, civil society, opposition and citizens who peacefully express their opinions”, we read again in the statement, which then expresses “condemnation” also for the treatment by of Minsk «of political prisoners, demanding their immediate and unconditional release».

The Mattei Plan enters the G7 declaration

«The G7 Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, including initiatives such as the EU Global Gateway, offers a framework that we will use to advance our vision of sustainable, resilient and economically viable infrastructure in Africa, supported by a transparent selection of projects, procurement, and finance. In this sense, we welcome the Mattei Plan for Africa launched by Italy.” This is what we read in the G7 declaration which ANSA has seen

The Pope met Zelensky

Pope Francis met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7, in one of the first bilateral meetings scheduled for this day. The meeting with Kristalina Georgieva, director general of the International Monetary Fund, has already taken place.

The Pope jokes with Meloni: “We are still alive”

“Still alive”. Thus Francis responded smiling to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who, welcoming him upon his arrival at the G7, asked him how he was. “Still alive”, replied the Prime Minister and the Pontiff, again in an amused tone, added: “There are two of us”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/06/14/papa-francesco-arrivato- al-g7-focus-sui-migranti-von-der-leyen-agire-sulle-cause-1f5785b9-dd0b-46cc-aab2-f225209df8f7/.”Welcome”, said Bergoglio, descending from the helicopter ladder and turning to Meloni who thanked him: “It makes me so, so, so happy to have you here. Your presence is a great gift. Thank you.” Getting on the golf cart in Borgo Egnazia, the Pope let out a laugh: “A good laugh”, he noted. “But me and her always,” replied Meloni.

Bilateral half-hour Meloni-Biden

«American President Joe Biden praised Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for Italy's constant support for Ukraine», with our country «continuing to defend Kiev from Russia's brutal war of aggression»: the White House reports this after the bilateral meeting between the Prime Minister and the US leader on the sidelines of the G7. Biden and Meloni therefore received applause for the unanimous commitment of the G7 leaders to provide 50 billion dollars in further financial support to Ukraine using profits from Russia's frozen assets.

G7 Italy sources, unfounded reconstruction on LGBT rights

“The news published by Bloomberg, according to which any reference to the rights of LGBT people could be removed from the final G7 communiqué, is devoid of any foundation. The Italian Presidency categorically denies this reconstruction”. This was reported by sources from the Italian presidency of the G7.

China stops its aid to Russia

The G7 invites China to stop its aid to Russia: this is what we read in the draft of the final communiqué of the summit according to what Bloomberg reports. The statement then underlines that Beijing's trade policies “are leading to market distortions and overcapacity in growth rates, undermining our workers, industries, resilience and economic security”.

Von der Leyen at the G7, working on root causes of migration

“It is positive that the G7 is addressing the key issue of migration. We must work as partners to address the root causes, fight human traffickers and work on legal pathways.” The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote this in X on the sidelines of the second day of G7 work in Borgo Egnazia. “The EU pact on migration and asylum represents an important step forward, complemented by strong partnerships with third countries”, she adds.

Moscow, “Agreement between the USA and Ukraine? Just pieces of paper”

The spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, criticized the security agreement between the US and Ukraine, saying that it is “just pieces of paper”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/06/14 /pope-francesco-arrived-at-g7-focus-sui-migrants-von-der-leyen-agire-sulle-cause-1f5785b9-dd0b-46cc-aab2-f225209df8f7/.”These agreements concern nothing, they have no value legal,” Zakharova said, according to Russian state news agency Tass.