G-7 leaders cautious as Trump suggests face-to-face summit

Trump says he's

Restrictions are now in place for travellers from Europe, home to four of the G7 nations, and earlier this week the United States and Canada agreed to keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel until June 21. "We're ahead of schedule in terms of our country, and some of the other countries are doing very well. It looks like G7 will be on-a full G7".

The virtual diplomatic gathering is scheduled for June 10-12.

But Trump, who is head of the G7 this year, said an in-person summit would be a symbol of the United States and other countries seeking to return to normal, something the president has urged should happen quickly despite concerns from public health experts.

Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesperson, added: "Regardless, the prime minister's attendance of G7 leaders' meetings is still under consideration".

"When that all comes together, probably it will be in D.C., at the White House, but there could be a piece of it at Camp David, which is nearby", he said, referring to the president's country retreat in Maryland.

The United States now holds the presidency of the group of industrialised nations, which also include Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Canada and Italy.

Mr Trump originally planned for the summit to be at his private golf resort in Florida. But in March, he announced he was cancelling the annual meeting because of the pandemic and that the leaders would confer by video conference instead.

Now Trump wants to go back to meeting in person, except the response from his counterparts has been so far lukewarm.


The other G-7 members are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as the European Union.

"Now that our Country is 'Transitioning back to Greatness, '" he tweeted, the summit would be "a great sign to all - normalization!"

The District of Columbia remains under stay-at-home orders at least through June 8, though Maryland began relaxing the restrictions last week. Washington has identified has recorded more than 7,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 400 deaths.

Following the president's tweet, world leaders started to cautiously weigh in on the proposal.

Nations around the world continue to grapple with the virus, which has led to the deaths of almost 330,000 people and crippled the global economy.

Both the United Kingdom and Canada said they would need more information about what an in-person meeting could involve before making a final decision.

An unnamed Élysée Palace official told French broadcaster French 24 that Macron is "open" to the idea.

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