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G7 Meets in Washington - 2003-04-12

In Washington Saturday, the world's top economic policymakers are meeting to discuss the sluggish pace of world growth and the reconstruction of Iraq.

Russia's finance minister and central bank chief are attending portions of the meeting of economic officials from Europe, America and Japan.

John Snow, the American treasury secretary and host, hopes the meeting will produce a framework for addressing the reconstruction needs of Iraq and the troublesome question of its huge foreign debt, much of it owed to Russia, Germany and France.

As with the war, there are disagreements over how to approach reconstruction. International Monetary Fund chief Horst Koehler, trying to balance the differing views, is stressing the need for cooperation on both Iraq and the economy.

The Group of 7 meeting precedes an afternoon session of the IMF's policy-making body. Washington is braced for anti-war and anti-globalization demonstrations. Much of the downtown is cordoned off and police are out in force.