Donald Trump decided to postpone the G7 summit until autumn, with which he sought to symbolize a return to normal after the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel previously refused to participate in the meeting. This decision followed the disagreement of leaders on several issues at once, including regarding the export pipeline from Russia to Europe along the Baltic Sea bottom “Nord Stream – 2”.
US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 summit until fall. This happened two days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel declined his invitation to attend the meeting of the G7 leaders.
“The Federal Chancellor thanks President Trump for inviting me to the G7 summit in late June in Washington.
Today, given the general situation with the pandemic, she cannot accept her personal participation in the trip to Washington, ”said German government spokesman Steffen Saber to Politico.
Trump, indeed, planned to hold a summit in June. However, on the eve he nevertheless decided to postpone the event until the fall, and the corresponding announcement by the president was made with some resentment.
“I put it off because I don’t feel that the G7 properly represents what is happening in the world,” the US president told reporters.
The G7 Summit, scheduled in the United States, was to be the first diplomatic event at which world leaders would meet in person after months of restrictions due to coronavirus. And for the head of the White House, it was a rather ambitious and important plan. Accepting members of the Seven is the best signal to the whole world that the United States has successfully coped with the pandemic and is ready to be the first in the fight against the consequences of the coronavirus.
“Now that our country is“ returning to greatness, ”I’m thinking about postponing the G7 on the same or a similar date in Washington, DC, in the legendary Camp David. Other members also begin their return. That would be a great sign for everyone – normalization! ” – Trump wrote on Twitter on May 20 and started sending out invitations.
The initiative of the US President was welcomed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that so far he could not commit to attending the meeting because of concerns about the virus and Canadian quarantine rules.
The British leader is the only one who has already had coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, who turns 66 in July, is the second G7 leader after Trump himself, who is eight years older than her. In addition to them, the prime minister of Japan is also at risk for age, who, unlike Merkel, is not afraid of contracting a coronavirus during a flight and in-person with other leaders and members of their delegations, although Japanese media have already noted that his entourage will be quarantined for 14 days after returning to Tokyo.
“We will protect the world leaders who come here, just as we protect people in the White House. So we want this to happen. We think this will happen. And until now, foreign leaders are very supportive of this idea, ”said White House spokeswoman Kaylee Mackinani.
However, there is also the possibility that the chancellor’s refusal is justified not only by her concern for health. Angela Merkel, indeed, showed a very responsible approach and precaution during the pandemic, which also affected the epidemiological situation in Germany, which has a relatively low mortality rate compared to other European countries.
However, at the same time, it is impossible to underestimate the political weight of the Chancellor in the world and, in particular, such sites as the G7. Her refusal thwarted Trump’s attempts to present the summit as a momentous moment, drawing a line under the travel prohibitions and restrictions.
Equally important, the Chancellor’s rejection of the invitation was yet another in a long series of controversies between the two leaders. Recently, the relationship between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel has been tested for strength, as politicians find constant reasons for mutual reproaches.
So, Trump criticized Merkel for Germany’s defense spending, saying that Germany does not pay a “fair share” as part of its obligations to NATO. The German Chancellor is annoyed by the selfish approach of the head of the White House to the external direction, for example, the US withdrawing from security agreements (DRSM, DON, and especially the JCPOA, because of which EU leaders are faced with the need to protect Iran’s economy from US sanctions).
This week, the leaders faced disagreements in a telephone conversation on several topics at once: NATO, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and relations with China, Politico reports citing a senior US official.