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G7 leaders make joint statement on fair trade

  • 26 Aug 2019

A statement issued at the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the G7 leaders in the French resort city of Biarritz, says the main issues covered included trade, Iran, Libya, Ukraine and Hong Kong.

From the left, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend a work session during the G7 summit at Casino in Biarritz, southwestern France. August 26, 2019. ( Ian Langsdon / AP )

 France on Monday issued a short statement at the end of a meeting of G7 leaders on several issues, but it was not a communique along the lines of those usually drawn up at the annual summit, reflecting divisions.

The issues were trade, Iran, Libya, Ukraine and Hong Kong.

The statement said the seven industrialised nations were committed to open and fair world trade and to global economic stability.

It said they wanted significant changes to the World Trade Organization to make it more efficient in protecting intellectual property, resolving disputes more quickly and eradicating unfair trade practices.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the 3-day gathering of G7 leaders in southwest France came in under budget and was "one of the least expensive" Group of Seven summits ever.

G7 world leaders are now looking ahead to what's next after the summit came to a close in Biarritz.

Iran

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he was prepared to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani within weeks, after talks about Tehran's nuclear programme at the G7 summit in France.

TRT World 's Simon McGregor-Wood brings more from Biarritz.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had made a surprise appearance on the sidelines of the summit in Biarritz on Sunday at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

TRT World spoke to Tara Kangarlou, a journalist and expert on Iran, who explains why the Trump-Rouhani meeting would be significant.

Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "marginally more optimistic" on the chances of clinching a deal for Britain's exit from the EU after talks at the G7 this weekend, but acknowledged it would be difficult.

But he added, "It will be difficult ... there is a substantial disagreement" between Britain and the EU.

Johnson insisted that it was up to the EU to improve the chances of a deal but needed to negotiate a new agreement on leaving without the so-called "backstop" for Ireland.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, Macron said there will be a meeting next month on the Ukraine conflict with the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

He said it would be at the chief of state or government level but gave no details.

However, Macron said the G7 leaders could not agree on whether to invite Russia back into the grouping of leading democracies.

Trump said he could invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to next year's G7 summit, which he wants to hold in Miami.

European officials said that's premature. The EU wants progress on peace accords for Ukraine first.

Russia was kicked out of the then-G8 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Hong Kong

The G7 leaders have backed Hong Kong's autonomy as laid out in a 1984 agreement between Britain and China and called for calm in the protest-hit city.

"The G7 reaffirms the existence and the importance of the 1984 Sino-British agreement on Hong Kong and calls for avoiding violence," according to a joint statement issued in French at the end of a G7 meeting in Biarritz, southwest France.

The city has been wracked by more than two months of protests over an attempt by its Beijing-backed government to pass an extradition bill, which opponents saw as a huge dent in Hong Kong's autonomy.

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