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South African President Jacob Zuma, and his daughter Phumzile, are greeted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they arrive in advance of the G8 and G20 Summit, Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. (Gerry Broome/AP)
South African President Jacob Zuma, and his daughter Phumzile, are greeted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police as they arrive in advance of the G8 and G20 Summit, Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. (Gerry Broome/AP)

G8, G20 leaders arriving in Toronto Add to ...

Delegates began arriving at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson airport for the G20 summit Thursday afternoon.

While the arrivals level of Terminal One was buzzing with police and summit security guards, regular traffic didn't seem to be severely affected.

Around 1 p.m. ET, the delegation from the European Union arrived and poured out of the gate en masse. Delegates declined to speak with reporters and moved briskly to a waiting convoy of black cars.

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Two Mounties in Red Serge saluted as the dignitaries clamboured into the motorcade and pulled away, led by an RCMP officer and a Toronto police officer on motorcycles.

The right lane of southbound Highway 400 was closed to allow a motorcade to pass.

Rumours among airport employees was that the world leadrs themselves would be whisked away directly from the tarmac.

South African President Jacob Zuma was among the first to arrive, followed by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, one of several leaders from non G8-G20 countries invited to participate.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is taking part in a state visit in Ottawa, is also among those who will attend the G20 summit in Toronto - the heart of which is currently under virtual security lockdown - on Saturday and Sunday.

Prior to the G20, the members of the G8 - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., the U.S. and Russia - are gathering in Huntsville, Ont., an idyllic resort community in the heart of Ontario cottage country.

They're expected to discuss peace, security, and maternal health, with an emphasis on proving how well they can keep their promises.

The official welcome from Prime Minister Stephen Harper will take place just before noon Friday at the posh Deerhurst Resort.

Once back in Toronto, the larger G20 gathering will wrestle with weighty economic issues like how to control ballooning deficits, stabilize banks and open up the wallets of Asian consumers - with Harper pushing for tighter spending for the next 10 years.

Follow on Twitter: @adrianmorrow

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