Russian President Boris Yeltsin adjusts his earphones as he attends the final session of the G8 economic summit held in Birmingham on May, 17 (Credit STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP via Getty Images)

17 pictures of when Birmingham hosted President Putin’s predecessor at the 24th G8 summit in 1998

The 24th G8 summit was held in Birmingham in May, 1998 - so here at 17 retro pictures of the world leaders event

Sunday, 5th June 2022, 8:00 am

The 24th G8 Summit was held in Birmingham at the city’s International Convention Centre between Friday May 15 and Sunday May 17 in 1998.

The summit has been known more recently as the Group of Seven (G7), after the other seven countries decided to hold a separate meeting without Russia in 2014 - due to their part in Crimean crisis.

It was also known as the G7 before Russia joined the annual forum in 1997, alongside France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The summit generally consists of meetings between the heads of the richest industrialised countries in the word, alongside statements and photographs for the press.

Traditionally, the host country sets the agenda for negotiations. Multi-national civil servants then negotiate these topics in the weeks before the summit, which leads to a joint declaration which all countries can agree to sign.

The G8 members can agree on plans and set objectives but they can’t force anyone to agree with them.

World leaders who attended the Birmingham-based summit were US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Jacques Chirac.

It was also attended by Russian President Boris Yelstin - who resigned over a year later, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The 24th summit was the last one attended by Kohl and Hashimoto.

In addition, the President of the European Commission has also been a core member of the summit since 1981, with Jacques Santer taking the seat in 1998.

Often, protests or demonstrations can take place in the streets of the host country during the G8 summit to get the attention of the world leaders who are attending.

During Birmingham’s summit, thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Symphonia City Hall in a bid to call for the forgiveness of the world debt of poor countries.

On the last day (May 17), a group of Albanian demonstrators rallied outside of the conference centre, to oppose Serbia’s policy in Kosovo.

In 1998, the summit leaders proclaimed an “Action Program on Forests” but there is little evidence of follow-up action or the programme.

So here are 17 pictures from the 1998 summit, including those of the world leaders, their wives and the local protests.

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