matteo renzi.jpg
Photograph: EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

The picturesque town of Taormina, famous for its ancient Greek-Roman amphitheatre, should be the venue for the 2017 summit of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Thursday.

Speaking as the leader of the country due to inherit the G7's rotating presidency, Renzi had already announced plans to host the meeting in Sicily, but had yet to give a precise date and location.

In remarks from the ongoing G7 summit in Ise-Shima, Japan, broadcast live by Italian TV, Renzi said "we have proposed Taormina" for the next leaders' gathering. He indicated it would take place on May 26-27, 2017.

However, the decision is still subject to confirmation, as logistics and other technical issues in Taormina need to be verified, the Italian premier said. "Otherwise Sicily has other places" that can host the summit, he added.

Renzi had originally proposed to organize the G7 summit in his hometown of Florence, but announced a change of plans on Wednesday to focus attention on migration, as Sicily is the landing point for most people who set off from Libya.

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