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Trump postpones G7 summit after US election, demand to 'replicate' massive row between world leaders

16:03 | 12/08/2020

President Donald Trump said Monday that he weighed to postpone the G7 meeting until after the US election in November after many previous postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I’m much more inclined to do it sometime after the election. ... We could do it through teleconference or we could do it through a meeting,” the Republican president said at White House news conference.

Trump, who is trailing Democratic candidate Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election, said he had decided on the new time frame because it would provide a “better, calmer atmosphere to have a G7.”

trump postpones g7 summit after us election demand to replicate massive row between world leaders
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2020. Photo: CNN

Trump gave no specific date and said no invitations had been sent out, reported Reuters.

"We haven't sent out invitations. We're talking to them," he said. He noted that he planned on inviting countries that aren't formal members of the Group of 7.

When asked whether Mr. Putin will be invited to the summit, Mr. Trump said: “I certainly would invite him to the meeting. I think he’s an important factor.”

The summit was slated to be held at Camp David in June, and after a tentative plan to postpone the meeting and switch to a virtual conference, Trump had floated in May the idea of doing it in person in the fall.

In a telephone conversation on June 1, Trump and Putin discussed “progress toward convening the G7,” according to the White House.

trump postpones g7 summit after us election demand to replicate massive row between world leaders
G7 summit attendees last year Photo: Express.co.uk

The G7 includes Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, and Canada in addition to the United States. Russia was expelled from the then so-called G8 group in 2014 after annexing the Crimea region from Ukraine.

Trump demands to 'replicate' massive row among world leaders

Trump’s demand for the G7 has ruffled the feathers of his most important allies, including Boris Johnson, prompting fears of a "row to be replicated" before the next summit, according to Express.co.uk.

Times' Washington Correspondent, Henry Zeffman, spoke to Times Radio about why this row could be replicated on the world stage.

He told listeners that "It's unclear if this is ever going to happen really. The US holds the rotating presidency of this club of powerful democracies during the year of 2020. The summit was meant to be in June. Understandably because of coronavirus it got moved to a teleconference. But Trump said that he wanted it to happen in person and signed up various world leaders.”

trump postpones g7 summit after us election demand to replicate massive row between world leaders
Donald Trump demand rekindles huge row as Putin return to summit hinted Photo: Express.co.uk

Mr. Zeffman continued "All of them apart from Angela Merkel were onboard, including Boris Johnson, for a delayed summit in July”.

"But just a few days before it was meant to happen he said to some reporters the G7 was meaningless and that other countries needed to be there”.

"He said he wanted to invite Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Australia, South Africa, and India. That obviously defies the point of the G7 even though there are usually guests”.

"At this point, various leaders, including Boris Johnson again, said no, absolutely not, we will not countenance a G7 summit which Vladimir Putin attends. But last night Trump said he wants the G7 to take place, and he thinks it would be very important for Putin to be there. So just expect that same row to be replicated once again just a little bit further down the track”, added the journalist.

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