G7: Donald Trump wants a 'comeback' summit in the US. But does anyone else?

Will the G7 leaders want to meet in person?
Will the G7 leaders want to meet in person? Copyright Ian Langsdon/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Rachael KennedyAP
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Few countries have given Trump a clear commitment.


World leaders have been hesitant to accept an invitation from Donald Trump to travel to the US for a G7 summit. 

The get-together of leaders from the US, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom was initially planned for 10-12 June. 

But, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March, Trump said the meeting would instead be held by video conference. 

Now Trump wants to go back to meeting in person, except the response from his counterparts has been so far lukewarm. 

French President Emmanuel Macron has been the clearest. His office said he would be happy to travel to Camp David in Maryland but only "if the health conditions would allow it".

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would "definitely fight for multilateralism" whether or not that was during an in-person or virtual summit, and stressed she chose her words "with care" when pressed by Associated Press on whether she would consider actually making the transatlantic trip.

The jury is still out in Italy.

It comes after the US president tweeted on Wednesday his invitation for a rescheduled summit, saying it would be a sign of "normalisation" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He did not specify when, but said it would either be on the originally scheduled dates in mid-June or a "similar date".

The US is the worst-hit country in the world by COVID-19, having recorded more than 1.5 million cases of the illness, with 93,000 deaths.

With more than 33 million Americans out work and a decimated national economy due to the knock-on effects of coronavirus, Trump is now keen to reopen his country.

"Now that our Country is 'Transitioning back to Greatness', I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David," he wrote in his proposal.

"The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all - normalisation!"

Both the UK and Canada said they would need more information about what an in-person meeting could involve before making a final decision.

Speaking on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would look at what measures the US was proposing to keep people safe and compare this with expert advice.

He added: "There are a lot of discussions to come, but we look forward to having those discussions with the American hosts."

The spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has recovered from a serious bout of COVID-19 himself, said authorities were in "close contact" with the US in the lead-up to the summit, adding they would also need to look at details of the proposals first.

Japan, meanwhile, remained the most tight-lipped out of all those who responded, and said it would not comment on the details of communication it had received from the US.


Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesperson, added: "Regardless, the prime minister's attendance of G7 leaders' meetings is still under consideration. But we understand the host country United States is still considering the date and format for this year."

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