FOREIGN

World Leaders React As Trump Considers In-person G7 Summit

U.S. President Donald Trump said he was considering
conducting the upcoming G7 summit in Camp David,
indicating he would want an in-person meeting rather than a
teleconferencing session.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread, Mr Trump in March
cancelled the in-person meeting of the leaders of Britain,
Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the U.S., which
was scheduled for June at Camp David in the US state of
Maryland.
“Now that our country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness,’ I
am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar
date, in Washington, DC, at the legendary Camp David,” Mr
Trump said in a tweet, using his slogan for easing lockdowns.
“The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It
would be a great sign to all – normalisation!”
Following the president’s tweet, world leaders started to
cautiously weigh in on the proposal.
During his daily news conference, Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau said he was open to discussing an in-person
meeting, while French leader Emmanual Macron said he would
travel to the U.S. as long as proper health precautions are in
place, according to sources at the Elysee.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel dodged questions as to
whether she would attend the G7 summit in person.
“No matter whether in the form of a video conference or
otherwise, I will definitely fight for multi-lateralism,” Mr Merkel
said.
Mr Trump originally planned for the summit to be at his private
golf resort in Florida.
However, he switched the location to the government-owned
Camp David compound near Washington DC after facing a
backlash.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters
that Mr Trump wants the meeting to take place in June as
previously scheduled and in person.
McEnany would not say if a potential in-person summit would
coincide with a lifting on European travel restrictions, which
were put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
The border between the U.S. and Canada also remains closed
to non-essential travel through June 21.
“America is reopening, the world’s reopening,” Mr McEnany
said during a news conference.
“What a show of strength and optimism to have all of the
leaders of these countries come together at the White House
and pursue business as usual as we move forward through this
pandemic,” he added.
Leaders of the G7, the leading industrialised democracies,
have conducted video meetings about the coronavirus in the
past months. Ministers have also staged similar conferences.

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