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G7: Trump says Russia should be part of summit


08/06/18   BBC:
US President Donald Trump says he wants Russia to be part of the G7 group of key industrialised nations.
Russia was expelled in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea, but Mr Trump said he wanted the country readmitted.
The build-up to the meeting has seen major disagreements between the US president and other nations over his imposition of trade tariffs.
There are also likely to be disagreements with Mr Trump over Iran and climate change.
The G7 summit, which groups Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, is being held in the town of La Malbaie in Quebec, Canada.
The leaders of the nations, which represent more than 60% of global net worth, meet annually. Economics tops the agenda, although the meetings now always branch off to cover major global issues.
Mr Trump said he regretted the meeting had shrunk in size, putting him at odds with most other G7 members on yet another issue.
"You know, whether you like it or - and it may not be politically correct - but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in," he said.
He found support in the shape of the newly installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who tweeted that it was "in the interests of everyone" for Russia to be readmitted. But Canada, France and the UK immediately signalled they remain opposed.
Fellow members of what was then the G8 suspended Russia after it took control of Crimea, saying it would remain until Russia "changes course"
Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently in Beijing, where he was presented with a friendship medal by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
It was mainly France and Canada v Donald Trump, sparked by Mr Trump's imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs.
Appearing alongside host leader Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt US workers."
For his part Mr Trudeau described Mr Trump's citing of national security to defend his steel and aluminium tariffs as "laughable".
Never one to back down, Mr Trump fired off a series of tweets, keeping up the tirade on Friday.
Speaking to reporters before the summit he again criticised other nations for their treatment of the US but predicted tensions would ease and "we'll all be in love again".
UK Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to take a more conciliatory approach, saying she wanted the EU to act with restraint and proportion in retaliating to the US tariffs.
Unlike Mr Macron and Mr Trudeau, she won't be having a bilateral meeting with Mr Trump, but insisted on Friday it was not a snub.

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