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G-8 Summit Opens

9 June 2004 -- The annual meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit of industrialized countries has started in the U.S. state of Georgia.

The G-8 comprises the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia.

The three-day summit is being held on a small island off the coast of Georgia amid tight security.

The G-8 meeting will focus mainly on the future of Iraq. A plan to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction will be discussed as will be the Middle East. The leaders of a number of Islamic countries are attending as guests.

On the last day of the meeting, 10 June, the G-8 leaders will be joined by several African presidents to discuss poverty in Africa.