US backs call for fight against protectionism in G7 communique

G7 leaders on Saturday wrapped up their annual summit with an unprecedented display of division over climate change as US President Donald Trump rebuffed pressure to toe the collective line in the club of powerful democracies.

That would be one reason why Trudeau is praising the outcome, but there were other leaders who avoided the tap dance and expressed frustration with the new man in the White House.

A source who has been in contact with people involved in the decision told Reuters a couple of meetings were planned with chief executives of energy companies and big corporations and others about the climate agreement ahead of Trump's expected announcement later in the week.

As the two-day meeting in the seaside town of Taormina, Sicily, was drawing to a close, the leaders were also discussing whether to stay with the group's previous position that it could increase sanctions against Russia over its conflict with Ukraine if Russian actions make that necessary.

Under Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China and wants to boost the U.S. coal industry, Washington has resisted intense pressure from its partners to commit to respecting the global 2015 accord on curbing carbon emissions.

"Meeting the Paris Agreement's temperature limitation goals is in the environmental, economic and national security interests of the United States, whereas President Trump's "climate inaction plan" is a threat to every American's health and future prosperity".

German leader Angela Merkel said on Saturday that US President Donald Trump's G7 partners remained in the dark about his intentions on climate change, calling the debate at a summit in Sicily "very unsatisfactory". But Trump may disappoint on a key worldwide issue facing him after the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 meetings: the Paris Agreement.

'Therefore we didn't beat about the bush but rather made it very clear that we six of the G7 member states plus the European Union continue to support the targets'.

Trump has pushed back against such statements, arguing that trade must be balanced, fair and free.

Trump himself hailed what he called "a tremendously productive meeting", saying he had strengthened USA ties with longstanding partners.

Gentiloni said climate was "not a minor point" and that he hoped the United States would decide "soon and well" because the Paris accords "need the contribution of the United States".

British Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters that the G7 leaders agreed that climate was a priority, despite the fact that Trump is still mulling over his final decision. "But what I made very, very clear.is that you can not build a strong economic future for your citizens, for your country unless you are at the same time protecting and mindful of the environment".

In a separate statement, the leaders condemned Monday's suicide bombing in Manchester and called for reinforcing anti-terrorist measures, including the involvement of internet service providers in counter-terrorism operations.

The G7's Italian presidency held this year's summit in the Mediterranean island of Sicily to underline the proximity of the migrant crisis.

The final communique was just six pages long, against 32 pages past year, with diplomats saying the leaders wanted a simpler document to help them reach a wider audience.

"Our travels took us to some of the holiest sites in the three Abrahamic religions, and to gatherings of both America's oldest and newest friends", he said.

Donald Trump is now on his way back to America, ending a marathon nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe - his first foreign trip since taking office.

They also pledged stepping up their efforts in the fight against worldwide terrorism.

  • Leroy Wright