Climate, trade, security, migration to figure in tough G7 summit

Climate, trade, security, migration to figure in tough G7 summit

A senior Italian diplomat said Trump and the heads of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada saw eye-to-eye on many issues ahead of the two-day summit, but Washington remained isolated on commerce and the environment.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently told a United Nations gathering that the U.S. would not hesitate to sanction other countries that support the North's illegal activities.

Host Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister of Italy, said the group was also inching closer to finding common language on trade, a contentious issue between Trump - elected on an "America First" platform - and the six other leaders.

Some of the spouses got a helicopter's eye view of Mount Etna, an active volcano near Catania, but not Mrs. Trump, who arrived separately in her own minivan.

Germany is rejecting a USA official's assertion that efforts to combat climate change will harm economic growth.

However, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said at the summit on Friday: "We're not lowering our sanctions on Russian Federation".

Trump and Trump and Merkel had "lively and frank" talks on the sidelines of the summit, Merkel said.

Trump's father, Fred Trump, was the US-born son of German immigrants. Merkel contrasted the disagreement on climate and trade with agreement on the terror fight.

Mr. Trudeau will meet the President Saturday for what officials called a "pull aside" where he is expected to discuss US plans to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement.

The leaders of the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - countries collectively known as the Group of Seven (G7) - are meeting on Friday for a two-day summit in the resort town of Taormina, Italy.

The leaders have been wrangling on the wording of a final communique since Friday with worldwide trade and climate change the main stumbling blocks.

"The prime minister and the president reaffirmed their commitment to the deepest economic partnership in the world", said a statement Trudeau's office released following the informal meeting in Taormina, Italy. And they threaten to throw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies off its consensus game.

Meredith Lilly, a professor of global affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, said it might be over-reaching to portray Trudeau as some kind of Trump whisperer - especially since this is only his second G7 summit.

Speaking separately, Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump's views on climate were "evolving" and that he would ultimately do what was best for the United States.

Italy is keen to encourage the world's wealthiest nations to support African countries in developing their economies, so fewer young people will feel forced to make the unsafe journey to Europe.

But Gentiloni also stressed that "there is an atmosphere of direct and honest discussion which translates into points of agreement on the major issues: from Syria to Libya and on to the issues of worldwide trade, on which we are still working".

Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron at the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on May 26.

The Group of Seven world leaders, or rather Six excluding Trump, tried to tame the U.S. president. and failed.

The president and first lady will finish off the second-last day of Trump's first official trip overseas attending a dinner hosted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Trump has largely stuck to script and kept his tweeting to a minimum on a trip which has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, the Vatican and Brussels.

Trump is in Sicily right now attending a meeting of G-7 leaders.

The official also said that aides in the White House are directly involved in the talks.

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