DEAUVILLE, France, May 26 (UPI) -- Leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations met in France Thursday and discussed the Internet and the world economy.
The presidents and prime ministers were joined in an oval room in Deauville by Google founder Eric Schmidt, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner of Digital Sky Technologies, Hiroshi Mikitani of Rakuten, Maurice Levy of Publicis and Stephane Richard of Orange.
The White House pool report said German Chancellor Angela Merkel walked in the room with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Zuckerberg apparently talking about the film about Facebook's creation, "The Social Network."
Obama met privately with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of Thursday's summit, and they issued joint statements on counter-terrorism, civil aviation security, visa issues, health, missile defense and other bilateral concerns.
Obama said Washington and Moscow are working on Russia's progress to joining the World Trade Organization. "And we are confident that we can get this done," Obama said, calling it a key "building block."
The two men also discussed Afghanistan, Middle East peace prospects, Iran and the world economy.
The G8 meeting of the leaders of the United States, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Russia was expected to concentrate on the wave of pro-democracy demonstrations in the Arab world, the so-called Arab Spring, The Wall Street Journal said.
G8 leaders were expected to announce aid packages for Egypt and Tunisia in addition to previously announced U.S. debt relief and World Bank loan guarantees.
Security at the G8 summit was heavy with police checkpoints on all roads around Deauville to prevent demonstrators from approaching the town.