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Hollande, Putin to attend Rio+20 meet: Brazil

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BRASILIA — French President-elect Francois Hollande and his recently-inaugurated Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin informed Brazil Wednesday that they will attend next month's Rio summit on sustainable development.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff telephoned Hollande to congratulate him on his weekend election win and during the 15-minute conversation the French leader confirmed he will show up for the June 20-22 conference, her office said in a brief statement.

The Brazilian leader also called Putin to congratulate him on his inauguration Monday and the Russian leader "confirmed his attendance at Rio+20," the statement added.

Rousseff and Hollande also discussed the "articulation of the joint positions" of their countries at the next G20 summit of leading developed and emerging powers in Mexico on June 18 and 19.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have indicated they will stay away from the Rio gathering while there is no word so far on whether US President Barack Obama will show up.

Observers and non-governmental organizations say privately Obama was unlikely to make the trip as he will be busy campaigning for re-election.

The Rio+20 gathering, the fourth major summit on sustainable development since 1972, is to bring together at least 100 global leaders and 50,000 participants from around the world, including corporate executives and representatives of various social movements.

The summit will seek to outline a path toward a "green" and social economy that can balance economic growth, poverty eradication and protection of the environment.

Original article published at AFP