US President Donald Trump has postponed the G-7 summit from June to September 2020. For the G-7 summit, Washington plans to invite India, Russia, South Korea and Australia according to latest reports from the White House.
Speaking to reporters, Donald Trump said the G-7 in its current format was a “very outdated group of countries”. “I’m postponing it because I don’t feel that as a G-7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world,” Trump said.
It was not very clear whether Trump’s wish to invite the more nations was an attempt to permanently expand the G-7. On various occasions, Trump had suggested that Russia must be added due to Moscow’s global strategic importance.
White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said on Saturday that Doland Trump wants the nations to discuss China at the G-7 summit.
The US president has consistently criticised Beijing over its handling of COVID-19 pandemic. Trump also ordered his officials to start the process of ending special US treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for China’s decision to impose a new security law on the region.
Trump had cancelled an in-person G7 meeting that was scheduled for March as the virus spread but had recently attempted to revive it.
French President – Emmanuel Macron also supported the idea of an in-person meeting, according to the White House, but Canadian PM Justin Trudeau refused to approve it, saying there were too many health-related questions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier declined to accept Trump’s offer to attend the G-7 in the US. “The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington.
As of today, recognising the overall pandemic, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington,” a media report quoted German government spokesman Steffen Seibert as saying. “She will, of course, continue to monitor the development of the pandemic.”