Wed, 18 Sep 2019

G-7 Meets in France

Voice of America
25 Aug 2019, 23:35 GMT+10

The leaders of the world's major industrialized countries are holding their annual summit.

The Group of Seven, or G-7, is meeting in Biarritz, France.

U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on French wine, one of the most iconic industries of the host country, ahead of the summit has added to the tension among the leaders who remain at odds over issues ranging from climate change, how to deal with China and Iran, whether to bring Russia back into the fold, and Britain's exit from the European Union.

With these deep divisions, consensus seems unlikely. After Sunday's first session the leaders failed to come to an agreement on readmitting Russia to the group in 2020. Russia was ousted after its invasion of Ukraine and seizure of Crimea in 2014.

The French government announced after the first working session on the global economy, foreign policy and security affairs that the G-7 leaders had agreed to have French President Emmanuel Macron send a message to Iran and hold talks with Iranian officials. No details were released about the message, and Trump said he had not discussed anything about a message or talks with Iran. However, later Trump said he is not stopping anybody from talking with Iran.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, has acknowledged that "it has been increasingly difficult for us to find common language."

No joint communique planned

French President Emmanuel Macron already has declared that there will be no joint communique at the end of the summit, citing disagreements involving Trump and other leaders on the key issues as one of the reasons.

It will be the first time in G-7 history that a summit will end without a communique.

The summit marks the first meeting between Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson since Johnson took over from his predecessor Theresa May who failed to deliver on Brexit.

The members of the G-7 are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States.

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