BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in France on Saturday for what promises to be a fraught meeting of major industrialized nations, with friction over trade, climate change and Iran likely to snarl the talks.
The three-day Group of Seven meeting in the Atlantic seaside resort of Biarritz takes place amid sharp differences over a clutch of global issues that risk further dividing a group of countries already struggling to speak with one voice.
Summit host French President Emmanuel Macron wants the heads of Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to focus on the defense of democracy, gender equality, education and the environment and has invited Asian, African and Latin American leaders to join them for a global push on these issues.
However, in a bleak assessment of relations between once-united Western allies, European Council President Donald Tusk acknowledged it would be hard to find common ground, denouncing “senseless disputes” between G7 capitals.
“This is another G7 summit which will be a difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders,” he told reporters ahead of the Biarritz gathering.
“It is increasingly difficult, for all of us, to find common language and the world needs more of our cooperation, not less,” he said, adding: “This may be the last moment to restore our political community.”
G7 MAY END WITHOUT COMMUNIQUE DUE TO GAPS ON TRADE, CLIMATE-NHK
Aug 20 (Reuters) – The Group of Seven (G7) leaders summit to be held this weekend in France may end without a joint communique due to wide gaps between member nations on trade and climate issues, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.
It would be the first time a G7 summit ends without a communique since meetings began in 1975, NHK said.
Finding common ground between allies has become increasingly tough at the annual summit with the United States an outlier in its approach to handling disputes over trade and the environment.
U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his preference for bilateral trade pacts over multilateral agreements and is locked in a lengthy trade war with China.
Trump also pulled the United States out of the landmark Paris agreement to limit the effects of climate change against European opposition.