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Group of 8 (G8)

An annual summit attended by 8 of the world's top 11 wealthiest countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America; the European Union is also represented. Countries in the top 11 not included are Brazil (6), India (9), and China (2). The G8 evolved from the Group of 6 which began with a 1975 summit hosted by France which included France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and USA. The following year Canada was added to create the Group of Seven, and in 1997 Russia was added to become the Group of 8. Together the G8 nations comprised 50.1% of 2012 global nominal GDP and 40.9% of global GDP (PPP).

The summits, which are attended by the heads of state of each nation, rotate hosts in the following order: France, US, UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. There has been recent push for the group to include the nations known as the Outreach Five (O5) or the Plus Five: Brazil, India, China, Mexico, and South Africa. The O5 have participated in summits with the G8 in the past, and these summits are referred to as G8+5.

Presidency among the group rotates each year, and the country holding the presidency sets the agenda for that year's summit. At the 2013 G8 summit the main topic of discussion amongst the leaders has been how to end the violence in Syria. Seven of the leaders support the rebels, while Vladimir Putin of Russia is in support of Syrian President Assad. Public splits amongst the leaders are rare at global summits, so this split has received much media attention.

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