Merkel's spokesman offering 'no interpretation' of G7 pic

Frederick Owens
June 12, 2018

The disappointing G7 summit and furor over a murder in Germany prompted Angela Merkel to make a surprise appearance on a Sunday talk show immediately after returning from Canada.

Trump greeted Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, warmly at the official opening of the gathering.

"He'd be very tough to beat", Trump said. The consensus documents typically outline a shared vision of global affairs, where the seven countries also undertake commitments on everything from currencies, development aid and worldwide security.

Trudeau, who announced that the G7 had issued a joint communique, had to suffer the wrath of Trump.

Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron both visited the White House and appealed to Trump not to completely withdraw from the agreement.

In his tweets, Trump attacked Trudeau by calling him "dishonest and weak" and denouncing statements as "false".

"This has solidified my belief that we, Europeans, should decide our fate by ourselves", the German leader said, calling on EU to be more active in defending its values and principles. "We have little tests every once in a while when it comes to trade".

"The American president may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six country agreement if need be", Macron said in a tweet.

Trump walked out of the White House more than half an hour late and spent time greeting supporters gathered on the South Lawn.

In the meeting with Macron, Trump insisted that "nothing's easy" while Macron described his conversations with the president as "very open and direct".

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Expectations for a major breakthrough on trade at the summit, however, remain low, with USA allies focused on avoiding rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on major issues.

The G-7 summit participants managed to patch over their disagreements and agree to disagree on some issues in a joint final statement.

A senior government official meanwhile said May would warn that countermeasures from the European Union would be unavoidable unless tensions were eased quickly.

Trump also expressed his belief that Russian Federation should be reinstated into the group of leading industrialized nations, telling reporters "Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it". Although an event entirely comprising of USA allies, Trump had angered the majority of the leaders before he had even arrived, imposing trade tariffs on European and Canadian exports.

Trump was initially due to meet mid-morning with his French counterpart, Macron, who he'd lambasted a night earlier on Twitter.

Echoing Merkel's sentiments, French President Emmanuel Macron's office said that "international cooperation can not depend on fits of anger and a few words", according to a statement published by French public broadcaster RFI.

The tariff standoff is a complicated issue for the European Union - each country is exposed to different sectors, and could be impacted differently in the event of an escalation.

The plan, first reported by the United States news magazine The New Yorker, aims to strengthen the European Union and assess whether the changes enacted by Mr. Trump are part of a structural shift in U.S. foreign policy.

Merkel has repeatedly called for a strengthening of the World Trade Organisation and for the establishment of mechanisms aimed at preventing future trade disputes.

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