Trump postpones G7 Summit until September; invites India, Russia, others
United States President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he will be postponing the upcoming Group of Seven (G7) Summit. The US holds the presidency of the G7 this year. Trump had earlier planned to hold an in-person meeting, however, it was later decided to hold the summit via videoconference in late-June. The Summit is now postponed at least until September, the President said.
Here's what Trump said
Trump spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida. He said, "I'm postponing it because I don't feel as a G7 it probably represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries." The G7 comprises the US, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Russia, Australia, India, and South Korea to be invited
Trump said he also wants to invite Russia, Australia, India, and South Korea. According to White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah, Trump wants to include other traditional allies, including Five Eyes countries, and coronavirus-hit nations to talk about China, CNN reported.
Plans to hold Summit in Washington changed due to COVID-19
In a tweet on May 20, Trump had announced plans to hold the Summit in Washington at Camp David as a demonstration that the coronavirus situation in the US was normalizing. The US is the worst-hit nation in the outbreak, clocking over 17 lakh infections and 1.03 lakh deaths. The G7 leaders were later scheduled to meet by videoconference in late-June.
G7 leaders gave mixed or uncertain response to attending Summit
Trump's announcement comes after he received a mixed and uncertain response from other G7 leaders on attending the Summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel "cannot confirm" attendance to the Summit, a Chancellery spokesperson said on Saturday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that he could not commit to an in-person meeting, citing concerns over COVID-19 and Canada's quarantine rules.