US President Donald Trump has announced that he would postpone the Group of Seven summit he wanted to hold in late June and expand the list of countries invited to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.
Trump spoke to reporters about Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral, Florida, saying that the G7 in its current format is a “very outdated group of countries.”
“I postpone it because I don’t feel that what a G7 represents is what’s going on in the world properly,” Trump said.
The decision is a dramatic pivot for Trump, who had sought to host the group of major industrialized nations in Washington as a demonstration that the United States returned to normal after the coronavirus epidemic, which has so far killed more than 1
The G7 consists of the US, Italy, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the European Union.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she had rejected Trump’s invitation to attend the G7 summit in person, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is hosting the 2018 summit, had also said that every personal meeting must prioritize security, while a French presidential election said President Emmanuel Macron, last year’s host, was “willing to go to Camp David if health permits”.
Meanwhile, European Council President Charles Michel said through a spokesman that he would participate in “if health permits”.