World

World leaders gather for G7 summit, amid Trump-fueled trade tensions

World leaders gather for G7 summit, amid Trump-fueled trade tensions

Following a day after Trump's press conference, Vladmir Putin in the Qingdao SCO summit on Sunday said that such talks were welcome and "much needed" in the wake of the new arms race among countries.

Both Trump and Conte were clear that they want Russian Federation to be readmitted to the Group, despite Moscow's refusal to withdraw its occupation forces from Crimea - which it forcibly annexed from Ukraine in 2014 - and eastern Ukraine, where Russia's armed forces and their local proxies continue to fight a war that has killed almost 11,000 people in just over four years.

With the USA the odd man out, there were serious doubts that a typical G-7 "communique" - a joint statement from the participants describing the progress achieved during the summit - could be issued.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday warned both Trump and the European Union of the dangers of entering a tit-for-tat trade war over tariffs, urging both sides to instead focus on China's excess steel production.

The most powerful Russian and Chinese leaders in decades, Xi and Putin have forged closer ties as US President Donald Trump has labelled both countries as economic rivals that challenge US interests and values.

The G7 ended in discord on Saturday when Trump clashed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and said he might hit the auto industry with tariffs. The member countries are Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, the United States and Britain.

Trump is telling reporters that he told world leaders that the US will take whatever steps necessary to prevent unfair foreign trade practices.

At present a Trump-Putin summit carries a literal life-and-death urgency.




The Russian leader said: "Co-operation with China is one of Russia's top priorities and it has reached an unprecedented level".

"This Group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russian Federation changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion" the leaders wrote in The Hague Declaration in March 2014. The point isn't that each of those deals was flawless, but to Trump they were disastrous primarily because they involved the United States joining with other countries in the hopes that everyone could emerge better off.

But to Trump, the very idea of worldwide cooperation is anathema. Just last week he met the heads of states representing over half of the planet's population.

"We can differently assess decisions that are taken by the United States, including by the U.S. president".

The G-7 is a group of countries that have the leaders meeting once a year. "And they understand it's going to happen". Donald Trump's style is to go it alone.

"The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be".

Referring to the Mueller investigation, and the possibility it may result in criminal charges against him, Trump maintained he has "the absolute right to pardon myself", adding "but I'll never have to do it because I didn't do anything wrong".

Merkel and Trump also had a brief conversation at the summit but no bilateral meeting.


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