As the leaders of 17 countries, including Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, China and the United States gathered in the earthquake-devastated city of L'Aquila on July 7, the ground shook beneath their feet, sparking concern over whether it was safe enough to hold the high-profile summit there.
Italian authorities had decided to hold the Group of Eight (G8) summit, which ran from July 8 to 10, in the quake-hit region as an expression of solidarity and to help reconstruction efforts. Hundreds of aftershocks have continued to rock the region since the April 6 earthquake that killed nearly 300 people and displaced 50,000, many of whom are living in tent cities in L'Aquila and environs. Recent aftershocks, however, have not caused further casualties or damage to buildings.
As always, the summit focused on key international issues; this year's topics included preventing a recurrence of the worldwide economic crisis; international crises in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Iran and Iraq; food security in Africa; and climate change.