Canada invites African leaders to G8 meeting

Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:59pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada said on Sunday it invited leaders from seven African countries as well as Haiti, Jamaica and Columbia to attend the Group of Eight summit it is hosting this month, citing a desire to make the event more inclusive.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that the government invited Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa to attend a special session at the summit.

"We will be engaging African leaders as well as key hemispheric partners in order to broaden representation and maximize results on international development and peace and security issues," Harper said in the statement.

The G8 meeting of major industrialized countries will be held June 25 and 26 in the resort community of Huntsville, Ontario. It will be immediately followed by a meeting in Toronto of the Group of 20, which includes the G8 as well as major emerging nations such as China and India.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson, Editing by Sandra Maler)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 8, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>