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Trump postpones G7 summit, seeks to add countries to invitation list

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Trump postpones G7 summit, seeks to add countries to invitation list

By Steve Holland



U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. May 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a Group of Seven summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.


Speaking to reporters on Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Trump said the G7, which groups the world's most advanced economies, was a "very outdated group of countries" in its current format.


"I'm postponing it because I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world," Trump said.


It was unclear whether Trump's desire to invite the additional countries was a bid to permanently expand the G7. On several previous occasions, he suggested Russia be added, given what he called Moscow's global strategic importance.


Russia was expelled from what was then the G8 in 2014 when Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, was U.S. president, after Moscow annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine. Russia still holds the territory, and various G7 governments have rebuffed previous calls from Trump to readmit Moscow.


White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said Trump wants the countries to discuss China at the summit.


Trump has attacked Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China, and on Friday he ordered his administration to begin the process of ending special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for China's decision to impose a new security law on the former British colony.


The decision to postpone the G7 summit is a retreat for Trump, who had sought to host the group of major industrialized countries in Washington as a demonstration that the United States was returning to normal after the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 103,000 Americans to date.


Trump had canceled an in-person G7 meeting scheduled for March as the virus spread, but had recently sought to revive it.


French President Emmanuel Macron backed the idea of an in-person meeting, according to the White House, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to endorse it, saying there were too many health-related questions.

This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not attend.


South Korea is aware of Trump's invitation and will discuss the matter with the United States, a government official in Seoul told Reuters on Sunday.


The G7 groups the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada, and the European Union also attends.


(Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin in Seoul; Writing by Andy Sullivan and Mike Stone; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Paul Simao and William Mallard)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-05-31


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Yeah right, the fact some leaders of G7 have said they won't attend has nothing at all to do with that decision...

The other members of the G7 should just go ahead without Trump and the USA. While they keep appeasing him he will get worse and worse. They should also seriously consider slapping sanctions on the USA

Ah, yes, Russia collusion.  There should be just enough time between September and November to initiate another impeachment trial....

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The most sensible thing to do would be to initiate a G9 - which would be 5-eyes plus a second layer of 4 representatives which also would benefit from enhanced security cooperation.

The existing 5-eyes are US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the second layer would be Japan, S. Korea, India and the EU.


We are heading into a bipolar world where it will be the west against the Sino-Russian block. This currently paralyses the UN security council, and some of the major decision points will be about ring-fencing China (HK, Taiwan, S. China Sea etc.).


Trying to divide allies by bringing in Russia would be counter-productive at this time, and the US needs allies on the Russian borders, and in the Asia-Pacific region.


This G9 would be the only grouping powerful enough to deter China from military adventurism on Taiwan.

Edited by crobe
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