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.”
President Donald Trump continued his marathon of meetings with world leaders Friday on the fifth stop of his overseas trip in Taormina, Italy, where he is attending his first Group of Seven (G7) summit.
The annual meeting convenes the leaders of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy and Canada to discuss and promote solutions for major world issues.
Ahead of his meeting with G7 leaders Friday morning, Trump met with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss North Korea, among other issues.
“It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem,” the president said. “It will be solved at some point. It will be solved, you can bet on that.”
Abe, who joined Trump at Mar-a-Lago in February, joked about playing golf.
“There is one unfortunate thing I have to confess, this time around we will not be able to play golf together,” said Abe.
The 43rd G7 summit, held on the island of Sicily, will be a chance for Trump to ‘press America’s economic agenda and call for greater security cooperation,’ according to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.
It will also allow the president to appear presidential and calm the free world’s top economic powers about his leadership style.
Trump will also attend a dinner hosted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, after seeing the famed La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra perform.
U.S. President Donald Trump told fellow NATO leaders on Thursday that the United States would never stop fighting terrorism, calling the Manchester attacks “savage” and “barbaric”.
While he also accused low-spending members of the alliance of owing “massive amounts of money” to NATO, Trump said he and allies would drive out militants and urged all nations to do the same.
“We will never waiver in our determination to defeat terrorism and achieve lasting security, prosperity and peace,” Trump said after unveiling a memorial to the Sept.11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington at the NATO headquarters.
“Terrorism must be stopped or … the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places will continue forever,” Trump said, referring to Monday’s suicide bomb in the northern English city that killed 22 people, including children.
–Reuters, Robin Emmott, Gabriela Baczynska, Steve Holland
US President Donald Trump today met his newly-elected French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels.
Trump’s wife Melania Trump was with the president as they welcomed Macron to the US embassy in Brussels ahead of the NATO summit today, an AFP journalist said.
On the fourth leg of a grueling overseas trip, President Trump met with Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, and shared an eyebrow-raising handshake with President Emmanuel Macron of France.
Mr. Tusk said that there were differences of opinion over Russia, but that when it came to Ukraine, “it seems that we were on the same line.”
Mr. Trump will also meet with other European leaders, and analysts said anxiety was high but expectations were low. It is Mr. Trump’s first visit to the Belgian capital — headquarters of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — since he called the city a “hellhole.”
After Mr. Trump urged the alliance to do more against terrorism, NATO announced that it would formally join the fight against the Islamic State.
–The New York Times,
Ahead of potentially tense meetings with NATO, President Trump arrived Wednesday in the city that headquarters the historic U.S-European military alliance – which he once described as a “hellhole” because of its immigration and refugee policies.
After a brief arrival ceremony at the Brussels airport, the president headed for a photo opportunity with the king and queen of Belgium and a bilateral meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel that included a discussion of counterterrorism in the wake of Monday’s bombing at a concert in Manchester, England, for which the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
“We are fighting very hard, doing very well under our generals, making tremendous progress,” Trump told Michel. “But when you see something like what happened a few days ago you realize how important it is to win this fight. And we will win this fight.”
First Lady Melania Trump seemed to enjoy her visit of the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome on Wednesday, spending time chatting, playing and taking selfies with the hospital’s young patients.
Trump met young patients from nine different countries—including Iraq and Nepal—who were among the roughly 600 patients the hospital can accommodate. The first pediatric hospital in Italy, the facility is now run by the Catholic Church but provides completely free health care, as well as housing around 3,500 families. It’s also the largest pediatric research center in Europe. Continue reading “Melania Trump visits Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome”
First Lady Melania Trump has revealed she is a Catholic after a private audience with the Pope yesterday.
It comes after Pope Francis blessed her rosary for her during her Vatican visit with the President.
Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed to MailOnline that she practises the religion. Continue reading “Melania Trump reveals Catholic faith, is first to inhabit White House since JFK and Jackie Kennedy”