Germany sets out aims for next year's G-8 presidency

Germany will invite African nations for talks on development, HIV/AIDS and poverty when it hosts the Group of Eight summit next year, but it won't push for rising powers such as India or China to enter the exclusive club.

Helping economic development in Africa was one of the top goals sketched out Wednesday by German officials as they set out Berlin's aims as it chairs the G-8, made up of the world's seven leading industrial democracies plus Russia.

Goals discussed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet also include encouraging the United States to cut budget and trade deficits, and nudging Europe and Japan to bring more growth to sluggish economies.

They will feature at a summmit in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm on June 6-8.

Germany takes over the G-8 presidency on Jan. 1 from this year's chair, Russia.

"Under the themes 'growth and responsibility,' the further shaping of the globalized economy and African development will stand at the center of the summit in Heiligendamm," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said after the Cabinet session.

Senior government officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity said the German-led G-8 would pick up the emphasis on fighting poverty in Africa that Britain showcased when it hosted the 2004 summit at Gleneagles, Scotland, reports AP.

"One thing is certain there will be African participants there," said a senior official, who said it remained to be decided which countries would be invited.

Assistance for public health and fighting HIV/AIDS will be on the agenda as will be the need to ensure better government and fight the corruption that plagues the continent, discouraging growth and investment.

The officials made it clear there would be no push to include in the G-8 China or India, whose rapidly growing economies have given them an increasing role in world economic affairs.

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