Trump says he will delay G7 summit

Source:AFP Published: 2020/5/31 18:23:40

Leaders from the G7 group of countries and the European Council attend a working session on international economy and trade and the international security agenda in Biarritz, southwestern France on Sunday, the second day of the annual G7 Summit. Photo: AFP

US President Donald Trump said Saturday he will delay the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June and invite other countries - including Russia - to join the meeting.

"I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

He said he would like to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to join an expanded summit in the fall.

It could happen in September, either before or after the UN General Assembly, Trump said, adding that "maybe I'll do it after the election."

Americans head to the polls in early November to choose a new president, with Trump keen for a return to normality from the coronavirus pandemic and a healthy economy as voters cast their ballots.

Leaders from the Group of Seven, which the US heads in 2020, had been scheduled to meet by videoconference in late June after COVID-19 scuttled plans to gather in-person at Camp David, the US presidential retreat outside Washington.

Trump created suspense just a week ago, however, when he announced that he might hold the huge gathering in-person after all, "primarily at the White House" but also potentially parts of it at Camp David.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the first leader to decline the in-person invitation outright.

"Considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," her spokesman said Saturday.

Her response followed ambivalent to vaguely positive reactions to the invitation from Britain, Canada and France. 



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