WASHINGTON - The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Monday that Group of Seven finance ministers will meet in Washington on April 24 and follow that gathering up with a Group of 20 ministerial session.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will host both meetings, which precede semi annual gatherings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The G7 comprises the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan and has been the long-standing forum within which the larger economies discuss their economic concerns and try to coordinate policy.

But the G20, which also takes in key emerging-market countries like China, India, Brazil and Russia, has been moving up rapidly in terms of significance, especially with most of the old-line economies in recession.

G20 finance ministers and political leaders have met twice within the past month in Britain, most recently on April 2 when they agreed on a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the most severe global financial crisis in decades.

The deal included a huge infusion of funds for the IMF, to give it resources to lend to emerging market countries under strain, as well as a new infusion of IMF reserve units known as Special Drawing Rights.

The new IMF resources and how to use them most effectively will be a key topic for the spring meetings of the global lender, so the finance ministers will have an opportunity to try to set the agenda for that discussion in the back-to-back G7 and G20 sessions.