WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will host leaders of the G8 club of rich nations on May 18-19 at his Camp David retreat instead of in his hometown of Chicago, the White House said Monday.


Obama still plans to host NATO leaders and partners in Chicago on May 20-21 for a summit that is shaping up as crucial to plans to transition international forces out of Afghanistan.

The White House said in a statement that it had been decided to move the G8 summit to Camp David, which features plush cabins nestling in the Catoctin Mountains "to facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G8 partners."

The isolated, high-security facility will also make it much tougher for anti-globalization or Occupy Wall Street protesters to get anywhere near the leaders or to cause widespread disruption.

Camp David, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Washington, was opened by wartime president Franklin Roosevelt and has hosted multiple visits by foreign leaders, though Obama has used it less than some other US leaders.

The camp was the venue for talks which led to the landmark Camp David peace accords brokered by president Jimmy Carter in 1978.