The G7 Summit cocktail… The Iran-France surprise, the China tariffs and the “kissing Trumps”
At the summits of the major global powers there are often declarations of good intentions, agreements that are then watered down and bombastic announcements. But sometimes there are also surprises, high-profile pacts and high-voltage conversations. Part of that happened on the weekend during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, a meeting dominated by the debate over the fires in the Amazon, the U.S.-China trade war and, surprise, an unexpected guest.
BIARRITZ, France. (Agencies) – Last week the world waited to see if Trump was going to upset its peers in this year’s G7 Summit in France, however, it ended up being French President Emmanuel Macron who orchestrated the weekend’s most surprising moment.
The de facto host of the event, Macron invited Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to attend a round of diplomatic talks on Sunday — unannounced. This created an awkward moment for Trump, who was reportedly surprised by Zarif’s appearance.
Relations between the US and Iran have been especially tense since Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of a nuclear deal with the country last year. Iran has responded by detaining oil tankers, making threats and demanding the other participants of the agreement do more to make up for the US’ absence.
Zarif’s attendance wasn’t the only noteworthy moment of the weekend. Beijing announced new tariffs against the US on Friday, deepening the already abyssal trade war between the two countries. This clearly affected Trump, who then spent the weekend making contradictory comments about his plans for the future of the economic conflict. His mixed messages have sent international markets into a spiral of uncertainty. However, on Monday, Trump put a positive spin on his agenda and said he had received word that China’s negotiators are ready to return to trade talks.
He said he’d received word from China that its negotiators are ready to return to trade talks, even after his aides spent Sunday insisting Trump wants higher tariffs on Chinese products. And he shrugged off a surprise visit a day earlier from Iran’s foreign minister, saying he knew it was happening and didn’t interpret it as a sign of disrespect.
“It’s been really good. It’s not quite over yet, but I will tell you we have had great unity,” Trump said before a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But even in that session, differences were apparent. Merkel said there is “a long way to go” before a solution for Iran is reached. And she said she’d be “very glad” if the US and China can end their bitter trade war.
Trump seemed to suggest there was a better chance of that happening after a set of phone calls overnight. He also appeared to allude to comments from China’s vice premier, who said China would “adopt a calm attitude” in trade negotiations.
“One of the reasons China’s a great country is they understand how life works,” Trump told reporters during a morning meeting alongside Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, saying his trade team received phone calls from Beijing expressing a desire to restart talks. “I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world.”
China’s foreign ministry, however, didn’t mention any phone calls in a briefing on trade. And later, Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to elaborate on the calls’ substance.
The light side of the G7… “The kissing Trumps”
Social networks went crazy over the “kissing Trumps” with the photos of the greetings. The first photo, was the First Lady of the United States kissing the Canadian Prime Minister at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France.
The sequence of images shows Melania Trump in good spirits as she greets Justin Trudeau. The effusive greeting takes place while U.S. President Donald Trump turns his back and seems to be in not a particular good mood. Of course, these are only expressions captured by the camera, but social network users have had a ball with the images.
The photographs from the meeting show a friendly Trump, kissing in a very French “double-cheek kiss” Angela Merkel, Germany’s president, and he also was kindly greeted by Brigitte Macron, first lady of France.
The Yucatan Times