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UK assumes presidency of G8 group

The UK is assuming its year-long presidency of the G8 group of nations.

The presidency – which rotates through the G8 members – means it will host the annual leaders’ summit and choose the global priorities that are discussed.

June’s summit is to be held at Lough Erne, in County Fermanagh, while topics discussed will include tax havens.

The G8 is made up countries who have, historically, been the richest in the world – France, the US, Russia, Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada and the UK.

As prime minister of the presidency holding nation, David Cameron has said he wants to focus on combating trade protectionism, cracking down on tax havens and promoting greater government transparency.

These topics will be discussed in ministerial meetings ahead of the summit along with urgent issues like the crisis in Syria.

Although G8 summits are renowned for fine communiques, the group increasingly suffers from a credibility problem – some of the world’s largest economies like China, India and Brazil are not members, says BBC world affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan.

Our correspondent also adds that organisers will at least be hoping the June summit will be trouble-free.

The last time the UK was the host in 2005, in Gleneagles, more than 200,000 people marched against world poverty.

The proceedings were then overshadowed by the 7/7 bus and underground bombings in London.

Mr Cameron announced in November that the G8 summit would be held at the Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen.

It is the first time an event of this size has been held in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the time, the prime minister said: “I want the world to see just what a fantastic place Northern Ireland is – a great place for business, a great place for investment, a place with an incredibly educated and trained workforce ready to work for international business.