Obama to come to Fermanagh in 2013?

Published: 15 Nov 2012 13:000 comments

FERMANAGH is in the midst of preparing to welcome world leaders to its door step with the G8 summit due to be held here next year, it is understood.

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Speculation is mounting that leaders from eight of the world's largest economies including US President Barack Obama, will descend on Enniskillen next Summer for talks hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Russia's President Vladimir Putin are among those also expected to attend.

Government and security sources are remaining tight-lipped about confirming or denying the reports.

However, the Impartial Reporter understands that the five-star Lough Erne Golf Resort has been selected as the venue for the 39th meeting next June.

It is thought the luxury hotel spa and championship golf course was selected as the hub for next year's event not only because of its out of town location, but the fact that it is set on a peninsula.

A number of other hotels throughout the County have also been block-booked to accommodate security personnel and the world's press, among others, throughout the summit's duration, this newspaper understands.

Previous G8 summits hosted by the UK have been held in London (1977, 1984, 1991) and Birmingham (1998). The 2005 summit was held at Gleneagles, Scotland where the then American President, George Bush famously fell off a bike while waving to police officers.

The summit meetings are intended as a venue to resolve differences among the G8 members.

Discussions at next summer's session will cover a range of topics including food security and nutrition.

In Her speech at the state opening of Parliament in 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II explained that her government would use the 2013 G8 summit to "promote international security and prosperity".

The financial costs of hosting the G8 and G-20 summits in Toronto, Canada in 2010 were the target of much criticism at the time.

The security costs for the two summits was believed to be more expensive than the combined security costs of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver and Whilstler, British Colombia, which were $878 million.

Some of Britain's leading aid groups and charities are already planning a propaganda offensive for next year's meeting in relation to the food-dominated agenda.

A spokesperson for Downing Street would not confirm this week that Fermanagh had been selected as the location for next year's summit.

She said a number of options "across the UK" were being explored.

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