Italy wants heads of state to attend May G20 health summit -sources

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ROME (Reuters) – Italy will stage a health summit in Rome next May during its presidency of the Group of 20 major economies and hopes world leaders, including U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, will attend, diplomatic sources said.

If heads of state accept the invitation, it would be the first such in-person meeting for global chiefs since 2019, after the coronavirus reduced the main G20 and Group of Seven summits this year to virtual gatherings.

Italy took over the annual G20 presidency at the start of the month and all scheduled events until at least mid-April are expected to be held via video-link. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte hopes face-to-face encounters can resume from May.

The global health summit is scheduled for May 21 in Rome and would discuss the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to vaccinations and international cooperation.

“The idea is to have a Rome declaration to confront the health emergency,” a diplomatic source said.

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