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US Isolated As G7 Summit Begins

La Malbaie (June 09, 2018): Divisions between Donald Trump and the other leaders of the G7 nations have been laid bare at a summit in Canada.

The US president said Russia should be readmitted to the group of major industrialised nations following its expulsion for annexing Crimea.But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU members attending the summit all agreed that should not happen. Meanwhile, Canada has called Trump’s trade tariffs “illegal”.

Another of the attendees, European Council President Donald Tusk, warned that Trump’s stance on trade, climate change and Iran constituted a real danger. “What worries me most however is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged, quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor: the US,” he said.After rumours there would be no joint closing statement because of the divisions, President Trump told reporters he believed there would be one after all.

The G7 summit, which groups Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, is being held in the town of La Malbaie in Quebec, Canada.

Mr Trump said he regretted the meeting had shrunk in size. “You know, whether you like it or not – and it may not be politically correct – but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out,” he said. “They should let Russia come back in.”He found support in the shape of the newly installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who tweeted that it was “in the interests of everyone” for Russia to be readmitted.

But later Germany’s Angela Merkel said all the EU members there, including Conte, had agreed that Russia could not be readmitted unless there was “progress” on Ukraine. Canada too says it remains opposed.

A Kremlin spokesperson meanwhile said they were interested in “other formats”, apart from the G7. Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently in Beijing, where he was presented with a friendship medal by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Trump’s imposition of tariffs has sparked anger, with even US allies falling subject to them. The move has brought fears of a trade war.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada will not change its mind when it comes to the illegal and absolutely unjustified application of tariffs on steel and aluminium”.

Trump said on Friday that the US and Canada were working on cutting tariffs “and making it all very fair for both countries”.

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