Tensions rise as Trump meets G7 leaders
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 27, 2017,
May 27, 2017, 23:36
His pending review of US climate policies has left environmentalists bracing for the possibility of bland G-7 promises that says little after years of increasingly stronger commitments to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite that and despite repeated criticism that Trump has turned his back on science, the US insisted that the President had gone to listen and learn to the other world leaders.
President Donald Trump is in Taormina, Sicily for a second day of meetings with Group of Seven wealthy nation leaders.
"This is going to be the most challenging G7 meeting in years", Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council, told reporters going into the G7 meeting.
Trump, on the final leg of a nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe, arrived in Sicily late Thursday after publicly criticizing partners in Brussels for what he called their "chronic underpayments" to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.
A British government source said May would meet President Donald Trump at the G7 meeting, a day after she raised the intelligence leaks in the U.S. of information relating to the investigation of Monday night's suicide bombing in Manchester.
Trump has proposed to amend the Paris agreement, with his administration officials reportedly telling lobbyists and European diplomats that the United States will withdraw from the climate pact unless it secures concessions for the fossil fuel industry.
"You know my love of Florence but (when we made the decision) we thought it was right to send a signal to say that the South and Sicily are full of pearls that can enchant the world".
Cohn said Trump realized he needed to explain to the other leaders what he meant by wanting "reciprocal" trade.
The U.S. allies are expected to urge Trump not to abandon the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.
May is expected to leave a day early, following Monday's suicide bombing at a concert in northern England that killed 22 people carried out by a suspected Islamist militant of Libyan descent who grew up in Britain. Any decision on climate change would ultimately be based on what's best for the United States, Cohn said. Will Trump stand with other world leaders to fight it together? Differences over trade and Russian Federation have also arisen in talks. Gary Cohn, Trump's top economic adviser, was in the meeting and briefed reporters. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and State Secretary Rex Tillerson say the U.S. needs to retain its seat at the negotiations table on the climate deal.
Trump is on the final stop of his first foreign trip, which has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and Italy.
Most of the leaders' discussions Friday centered on trade issues.
President Donald Trump has arrived at his first G-7 summit in Italy.
"Today with Trump as president there is extreme uncertainty among immigrants without the proper documents who constantly fear deportation", said Father Tomas Gonzalez, who according to Reuters founded a shelter in Mexico for migrants and who came to Italy to take part in the protest.