- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2024

President Biden traveled to another meeting of world leaders and, once again, weirdness ensued.

Mr. Biden, the last of the honchos to arrive at the G7 summit in Italy on Thursday, was greeted by the host country’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni.

Upon shuffling onto the stage where Ms. Meloni waited, Mr. Biden kissed her on the head and appeared to sniff her hair. Following a brief exchange, she directed the president toward a frame bearing the G7 logo, which each leader signed with a marker. Before departing the platform, he offered an awkward salute to the prime minister.

The G7, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the U.S., convenes annually to discuss economic policy and security issues. This year’s summit, running through Saturday, will address global conflicts, the spread of artificial intelligence and issues affecting Africa, alongside new pledges of assistance for Ukraine amid its war conflict with Russia.

The summit will also mark a historic moment, as Pope Francis on Friday will become the first pontiff to address the G7. His agenda includes discussing the ethical concerns surrounding artificial intelligence and calling for peaceful resolutions to the conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas.

Following their greeting, Mr. Biden and Ms. Meloni were joined on the platform by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the U.K., President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan.

• Staff can be reached at 202-636-3000.

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