Donald Trump says he will postpone a meeting of the G7 until the autumn, just a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s said that she “cannot confirm she would not attend unless the course of the coronavirus pandemic changed.
The president made the unexpected announcement aboard Air Force One on his way back to Washington DC from Florida, where he watched the Nasa SpaceX launch.As well as announcing the delay, he also said the group’s membership should include Russia, Australia, South Korea and India. the current makeup of the group is “very outdated” and doesn’t properly represent “what’s going on in the world.”
The leaders of the world’s major economies were slated to meet in June in the US at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, but the coronavirus outbreak hobbled those plans. Mr Trump announced in March he was cancelling the summit because of the pandemic and that the leaders would confer by video conference instead. But Trump then switched course, saying a week ago that he was again planning to host an in-person meeting.
“Now that our Country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness’, I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David,” Mr Trump tweeted. “The other members are also beginning their COMEBACK. It would be a great sign to all – normalization!”
He said he had not yet set a new date for the meeting, but thought the gathering could take place in September, around the time of the annual meeting of the United Nations in New York, or after the US election in November.