Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) began talks Friday in the ancient Italian town of Taormina on Sicily, to discuss the world economy and other global issues.
The two-day summit, at a cliff-top hotel overlooking the Mediterranean brings four fresh faces to the meeting, with the new leaders of the UK, France, Italy and the United States joining veteran G7 leaders from Germany, Canada and Japan.
“No doubt, this will be the most challenging G7 summit in years,” President of the European Council Donald Tusk said before the meeting.
The summit has been billed as a major test for consensus-building, particularly over seemingly irreconcilable differences between US President Donald Trump and the world’s other major democracies over his stances on trade, migration and climate change.
“It won’t be an easy discussion,” summit host and caretaker Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni admitted the evening before the meeting. “The Italian presidency will try to ensure it is a useful one, capable of bringing the different positions closer together.”