Cookies

This Website use Cookies OK

Read more Politics News

Trump boosts Russia during wild weekend at G-7 summit

2019-08-25

President Trump (l.) and France's President Emmanuel Macron talk on the second day of the annual G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, on Aug. 25, 2019. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-Russia demands, mixed messages on China tariffs and a bit of a snub to a buddy from London — it was all in a weekend’s work for President Trump.

In case that wasn’t enough drama at the Group of Seven summit in France, there also was an unannounced visit from Iran’s foreign minister.

Trump strongly argued for Russia to be readmitted to the group of wealthy and powerful countries, according to the Guardian newspaper.

The publication on Sunday reported “heated exchanges” between the U.S. president and others during dinner Saturday night at a 19th-century lighthouse in the seaside resort of Biarritz.

World leaders kicked Russia out of their club, formerly known as the G-8, over Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.

“It became a bit tense, to say the least,” the Guardian quoted an unnamed European diplomat as saying. “Most of the other leaders insisted on this being a family, a club, a community of liberal democracies, and for that reason they said you cannot allow President Putin — who does not represent that — back in.”

The rest of the weekend was dominated by issues including conflicting statements about Trump’s tariffs on China.

Asked whether he had any regrets about the trade war, Trump replied, “Yeah, for sure,” adding that he has “second thoughts about everything.”

G7 leaders and guests pose for a family picture with the Biarritz lighthouse in the background on the second day of the annual G7 summit in Biarritz, south-west France on August 25, 2019.
G7 leaders and guests pose for a family picture with the Biarritz lighthouse in the background on the second day of the annual G7 summit in Biarritz, south-west France on August 25, 2019. (LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The seeming show of self-doubt, unusual for the president, prompted a flurry of news coverage.

But later in the day, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump’s statement had been “greatly misinterpreted.”

She said Trump only answered in the affirmative because “he regrets not raising the tariffs higher.”

Stocks tumbled Friday after China announced new retaliatory tariffs targeting U.S. goods in the ongoing trade war.

The weekend started off with French President Emmanuel Macron springing an unscheduled lunch on Trump after intercepting him at Trump’s hotel.

The surprises continued Sunday with an unannounced visit from Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

His arrival reportedly caught Trump off-guard, with the president uttering a terse “no comment” when asked about the matter.

Zarif headed straight to a rendezvous with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a French official told the Associated Press.

In recent weeks, White House officials have complained that Macron wants to force talks between the U.S. and Iran, according to the Washington Post.

Related Gallery
The 2019 G7 Summit

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, leaving European officials struggling to keep diplomacy with Tehran alive ever since.

Ahead of the summit, Macron told reporters that leaders were planning to end the tradition of issuing a final joint communiqué. Trump had refused to sign the document that came out of last year’s summit.

Still, the French president claimed progress on at least one issue. He said the leaders were moving toward action on containing wildfires in the Amazon rain forest.

With News Wire Services