Trump postpones G7 summit until September; invites India, Russia, others

Cheryl Sanders
June 2, 2020

US President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday.

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that he plans to invite South Korea to a Group of Seven summit in September.

"I don't feel properly represents what's going on in the world".

The G7, comprising France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, the United Kingdom, and Canada, were scheduled to meet in June.

Australia was invited to the D10, along with South Korea, India, and the G7 nations, barring Russian Federation and China. "That's a nice group of countries right there", he said. He described the possible gathering as a G10 or G11 meeting. The other G-5 members - China, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil - do not appear to be eligible for the global high table.

The decision is a dramatic pivot for Mr Trump, who had sought to host the group of major industrialised countries in Washington as a demonstration that the United States was returning to normal after the coronavirus epidemic. The Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance is comprised of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the United States. Even as President Trump has offered to arbitrate between the two sides, both China and India are using the established mechanisms and communications channels to resolve the issue.

He said he had not set a precise date for the new meeting, but suggested it might be around the time of the annual UN General Assembly in New York City, which is normally held in September, but there is no guarantee it will go ahead this year.

Morrison will hold a virtual summit with the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, this week, where he will discuss opening up more trade with the emerging economy, in the shadow of growing trade disputes with China.

Moon told Trump he would welcome the inclusion of other countries and said it would be a sign of progress in the face of the global coronavirus crisis. Separate donations of masks were made to 1950-53 Korean War veterans and Native Americans last month.

"Australia would welcome an official invitation", he said.

Mr Morrison attended the 2019 G7 summit as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Sino-U.S. relations continue to deteriorate, and Trump has criticized Beijing for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling it the "result of malfeasance of the Chinese government" in a press conference Friday.

Mr Trump has attacked China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China, and on Friday he ordered his administration to begin the process of ending special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for China's decision to impose a new security law on the former British colony.

While Trump on Saturday also floated the possibility of holding the gathering after November's election, such a meeting could conflict with the G20 summit scheduled for mid-November in Riyadh.

Mr Morrison, unlike some European leaders, has avoided criticising Mr Trump publicly and has teamed up with the United States in its tougher stance against China, Australia's main trading partner.

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