G7 leaders brace for clash with Trump on trade, climate

"Getting ready to engage G-7 leaders on many issues including economic growth, terrorism and security", Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet message, hinting that he intends to further challenge Washington's European allies.

While Trump has met all of the leaders one on one, this will be the first time all seven are around the same table, including also newcomers Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of Britain and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni - forging a new dynamic after a year of global political turmoil amid rising nationalism. Meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sicily, Trump bullishly promised the problem posed by North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes "will be solved".

It's possible the final G-7 communique will note the determination of Canada, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Japan to move ahead on climate action while Trump's administration continues to weigh its approach, the Canadian official said.

With May and Trump among four new faces in the club of the world's major democracies, the gathering in Italy was billed as a key test of how serious the new USA administration is about implementing its radical policy agenda, particularly on climate change.

"Today G7 leaders have joined Britain in condemning this barbaric act of violence", said British Prime Minister Theresa May, who left the summit a day early to deal with the aftermath of the attack.

The meeting comes days after several children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester, northwest England.

Leaders from the world's major industrialised nations failed to persuade US President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany's leader as "controversial".

Indeed, Trump is all ears, the president's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn said Friday.

It has also enabled Trump to position himself as a more statesmanlike figure and, notably after his meeting with Pope Francis, as a man of peace - stances which European officials hope will edge him towards compromise with partners across a broad range of issues.

European Council President Donald Tusk says that leaders "sometimes have very different views" on topics such as climate change and trade.

Italy chose to stage the summit in Sicily to draw attention to Africa, which is 225 km from the island at its closest point across the Mediterranean.

More than half a million have landed in Italy since 2014, with 1,400 brought ashore by rescuers on Friday alone.

Whether points of contention loom for Trump at the G7 summit is unclear, but among possible areas of discussion will be whether the USA will withdraw the from the Paris climate accord signed between by almost 200 nations during the Obama administration.

There was, however, a long way to go before the leaders could arrive at a happy consensus on other issues.

Participants of the G7 summit watch an Italian flying squadron.

One country that won't be present is Russian Federation.

Trump called for improved ties with Moscow during his election campaign.

But accusations from US intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the USA election to help Trump and investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials have hung over his four-month-old presidency and prevented him from getting too close to Moscow. One of Kushner's attorneys said her client would cooperate with the investigation.

Trudeau is also set to meet with Trump briefly on Saturday.

  • Zachary Reyes