Trump faces G7 squeeze on climate change, trade at Sicily summit

Leaders of the Group of Seven nations have begun a summit in Italy.

The summit takes place Friday and Saturday in Taormina, on the Italian island of Sicily.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters the climate debate was "controversial" and that the leaders of the other G7 nations - France, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy - all urged Trump to remain a part of the 2015 agreement.

Mr. Trudeau will meet the President Saturday for what officials called a "pull aside" where he is expected to discuss US plans to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement.

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It has also enabled Trump to position himself as a more statesmanlike figure and, notably after his meeting with Pope Francis, as a man of peace - stances which European officials hope will edge him towards compromise with partners across a broad range of issues.

According to German media reports, he also condemned Germany for "very bad" trade policies in meetings with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, signalling that he would take steps to limit the sales of German cars in the United States. This year's summit will span Friday and Saturday, with scheduled sessions covering foreign policy about cybersecurity, terrorism, trade, climate and migration.

"Since the lack of social and economic inclusiveness and opportunities may contribute to the rise of terrorism and violent extremism, we commit to address these issues through a comprehensive approach linking together security, social inclusion, and development", the declaration said.

The Washington Times said Mr Trump "neared the end of his first foreign trip Thursday by largely fulfilling a transformative agenda that was more ambitious than anything Mr Obama tried overseas during his first year in office".

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But, speaking in Berlin, Streiter said Germany's current account surplus - the broadest measure of trade and investment flows - reflects economic factors that the German government can't directly do anything about.

A glance of the leaders meeting with Donald Trump during his first Group of Seven summit as US president, in alphabetical order by country.

Trump offered his comments during the G-7 summit it Sicily Friday.

Merkel said that Trump's criticism was "not really something new".

"It's time for him to have an intimate discussion and understand their issues but, more importantly, for them to understand our issues", national economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters on Air Force One late Thursday.

What the Sicily stay will likely not offer: a news conference, as Trump appears set to defy presidential tradition and not hold one during the entire trip.

The White House believes that Trump has made personal breakthroughs with his peers, having now met one-on-one with all the leaders of G-7. In particular reporters and social media have pointed out his lengthy handshake with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, his alleged "shove" to move in front of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and his face-to-face with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who expressed dismay over an alleged USA leak of British intel from the investigation into the Manchester bombing.

"His views are evolving" on the Paris climate agreement, Cohn said.

Trump, on the final leg of a nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe, arrived in Sicily late Thursday after publicly criticizing partners in Brussels for what he called their "chronic underpayments" to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

  • Hannah Rogers