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G-7 Summit to Formally Open Tonight

Lyon, France, June 27 (RFE/RL) -- The annual summit meeting of the leaders of the G-7 group of major industrial democracies formally opens tonight in the central French city of Lyon.

The heads of state of France, the U.S., Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Italy and Canada will immediately launch into discussions at a working dinner in the Lyon city hall. It will focus on international terrorism -- prompted by the bombing of Americans in Saudia Arabia -- and the global economy, the main reason for this yearly gathering.

But the President and Prime Ministers are not idle in the hours leading up to the formal summit opening. Each is having private meetings with at least three of his counter-parts during the day while, at the same time the finance and foreign ministers from each of the nations are holding rounds of talks.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, substituting for President Boris Yeltsin, will join the summit Friday afternoon. The whole affair concludes Saturday.