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Africa Given the Cold Shoulder by G7

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Despite inviting several heads of state from Africa, G7 leaders meeting in Sicily had little to say about the many challenges facing the continent. Migration and terrorism are only some of them.

By holding the summit on the island of Sicily, Italy had hoped to make Africa the main focus of the annual G7 meeting on Friday and Saturday.


"Perhaps the choice (to be in) Taormina and Sicily says much about how important our relations are with Africa," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in opening remarks.

Over the past four years, hundreds of thousands of migrants have taken refuge in Sicily after fleeing war and poverty in their African countries.

Italy was hoping to convince fellow G7 members of the positive effects of legal migration as a means of slowing down migrants' dangerous boat trips across the Mediterranean, but that idea was dismissed by the Americans and the British.

Unfulfilled aid pledges

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou, who attended Saturday's session, called on the G7 leaders to take swift measures to end the Libyan crisis.

"The fight against terrorism in the Sahel countries and the Lake Chad region demands that urgent measures be taken to put out the Libyan cauldron," Issoufou said in his opening remarks.