G7’s media reports show the different currents and converging points reflecting global political uncertain times
Sky News and The Guardian said that G7 countries have agreed to a “rapid and unified” response to hostile actions by Russia in the wake of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
Sky said that “leaders of the seven richest nations vowed to send a “strong message” that interference by Russia and other foreign states will “not be tolerated”, Prime Minister Theresa May said.”
Under plans agreed by the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan, there will be greater co-ordination to respond to threats including cyber attacks and other breaches of international rules.
Mrs May also pushed for action to tackle Russian “dirty money” and work to curtail the movement of Moscow’s spies. She urged other countries to support giving the chemical weapons watchdog the power to identify states responsible for attacks such as the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
Trump called for Russia’s reinstatement as he left the White House to travel to the G7 leaders’ meeting in Quebec.
Earlier Politico reported that Italy’s new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, broke sharply with the EU on Friday at his first international summit, and joined U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for Russia to be reinstated to the exclusive club of industrialised nations. At a news conference, Tusk and Juncker mostly sidestepped questions about Conte’s position, saying they expected there would be overall agreement on Russia policy. But they also pushed back on Trump’s suggestion that Russia rejoin the club.
“I see a lot of speculation about G6 plus 1 or G7 minus 1, or G7 plus one,” Tusk said. “But let’s leave seven as it is. It’s a lucky number. At least in our culture.”
Tusk added that the G7 faced enough obstacles in their quest for unified positions without adding Russia back into the mix. Juncker, meanwhile, noted that EU leaders were re-engaging Russia in other formats, such as a recent economic forum in St. Petersburg attended by French President Emmanuel Macron.
But he said Russia still had to be held accountable for its actions.
Euronews reports that after “the war of words the day before, American-French relations appear to be back on track at the G7 summit on Friday. Following bilateral talks, Donald Trump and Emannuel Macron say they’re making progress on trade.
Emannuel Macron said, “We had a very direct and open discussion and I thought a willingness on all the sides to find an agreement and have a win-win approach for our people, our workers, our middle classes.”
Donald Trump said that “The United States has had a very big trade deficit for many years with the European Union, and we are working it out. Emmanuel has been very helpful in that regard. And something is going to happen. I think it is going to be very positive. We also had a very positive meeting a little while ago on NAFTA — so this is turning out to be an interesting day.”
CNN adds that the series of events opened what was expected to be a day-and-a-half of animosity between Trump and infuriated Western leaders, at least behind closed doors. The remaining six leaders are intent on bending Trump’s ear before the President departs early for his talks in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said that while the US President thinks US has been treated unfairly in trade, others think different. He stressed that the EU does not want to negotiate with US on trade with a gun to its head.