G-20 meeting slated for Nov. 11-12

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G-20 meeting slated for Nov. 11-12

The leaders of 20 of the world’s leading and emerging economies will meet in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12, the Korean government announced yesterday. The G-20 Summit here will conclude one day before the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit begins in Japan.

The Presidential Committee for the G-20 Summit said yesterday it has notified G-20 member states of the schedule through diplomatic channels.

“The Korean people should join forces to improve the national status and upgrade our society through hosting the summit,” said Sakong Il, chairman of the committee.

Organizers said the November slot was selected to accommodate state leaders’ itineraries.

“Since it’s the forum of leaders from 20 nations, trying to get everyone together at the same time was complicated,” said Sohn Jie-ae, spokeswoman for the committee. “We try to have summit meetings, such as G-20 and APEC, fall consecutively. Of course, we can’t fully satisfy everyone, but we had prior discussions before settling on the dates.”

Sohn declined to elaborate on those discussions, but sources said the Korean government worked hard to slot the G-20 meeting before the APEC summit in order to garner more international attention.

In particular, officials had to convince France to agree to the Nov. 11 start date, as Nov. 11 is celebrated in France as Armistice Day, commemorating the cease-fire that ended World War I. An official at the Korean G-20 committee said France first balked at the date because no French president has ever missed the Armistice Day ceremony. But later, the French vowed to consider traveling on that day as long as other G-20 leaders agreed to do so.

Nov. 11 is observed in other nations under different names - Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada - but the leaders of those countries had earlier agreed to the start date.

By Yoo Jee-ho, Jeon Jin-bae [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]

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