Rishi Sunak receives warm welcome at G7 summit as he reunites with Italian PM

13 June 2024, 17:04

Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni
Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Rishi Sunak has reunited with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni at the G7 summit, as he takes a break from the election campaign trail to meet with world leaders.

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Mr Sunak and Ms Meloni beamed as they greeted each other at the summit in Puglia, with them seen holding hands as they shared a joke.

The pair grew close after coming into office within days of each other in 2022.

They are also understood to have similar policy goals, such as their approach to immigration.

Italy's Prime Minister welcomes Rishi Sunak
Italy's Prime Minister welcomes Rishi Sunak. Picture: Getty

Several world leaders gathered for talks on Thursday, also including US president Joe Biden and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Ms Meloni appeared less enthusiastic to meet Mr Macron as well as President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The summit comes after Mr Macron called a snap election earlier in the week, after his party's poor performance in the EU elections.

Read more: 'PMs don’t always get decisions right': David Cameron defends Rishi Sunak’s handling of D-Day commemorations

Read more: Keir Starmer won leaders debate despite being likened to 'political robot' as Rishi Sunak grilled on 'broken promises'

Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni
Rishi Sunak with Italian PM Giorgia Meloni. Picture: Alamy

It comes as the UK announced it will target ships in Vladimir Putin's shadow fleet with new sanctions to support Ukraine as part of co-ordinated action with G7 partners.

Mr Sunak also announced another £242 million in bilateral funding for Ukraine.

The 50 new sanctions designations and specifications are the UK's first sanctions targeting vessels in Mr Putin's shadow fleet, which Russia uses to circumvent UK and G7 sanctions to trade in Russian oil, Downing Street said.

World leaders at the G7 summit
World leaders at the G7 summit. Picture: Alamy

Suppliers of munitions, machine tools and logistics based in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey that support Russia's military production are also among those sanctioned.

The sanctions take aim at the Moscow Stock Exchange and other institutions at the heart of Russia's financial system too. The US designated the Moscow Stock Exchange on June 12.

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