G8 Summit Begins At Camp David With Obama Welcoming World's Most Powerful Leaders

Washington, D.C. -

President Obama is welcoming leaders of the world's most powerful countries to Camp David as the start of the G8 Summit begins. G8, or Group of Eight, consists of the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia.

In choosing Camp David, Obama said he wanted his guests to feel at ease and comfortable in order to hold "direct and frank" talks in an effort to get top issues solved.

Camp David has only played host to two other summits; In 2000, President Clinton invited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat for negotiations that ultimately proved fruitless.

In 1978, President Carter invited Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for nearly two weeks of peace talks that ultimately led to a peace treaty the following year.

Among the major issues, the group will discuss how to go forward with Afghanistan, a top also up for discussion at the upcoming NATO summit to be held in Chicago.

Obama is aslo expected to press European leaders to do more to contain the evolving debt crisis that has ebbed and flowed, getting worse each time. Recently the credit ratings of over 20 major European banks were down graded.

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