UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – The major powers of the Group of Seven (G7), which have consolidated their stance against Russia, will confirm their package ahead of historic negotiations with North Korea, without being able to overcome their divisions over Iran as a crucial US resolution on the nuclear deal approaches.
Foreign ministers on Monday will conclude their meeting, which opened Sunday in Toronto, Canada. Security and interior ministers will hold a meeting Tuesday ahead of a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations on June 8 and 9 in Quebec.
The G7 consists of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada.
Foreign ministers of the seven countries discussed Sunday the confrontation of Westerners with Russia, which reached unprecedented levels since the Cold War.
“There was a unit within the G7 to oppose Russia’s bad situation,” a US official told reporters. He said member states had reviewed measures taken to “contain the negative trends of the Kremlin and threaten peace and security.”
The discussions will focus on “strengthening democracy against foreign interference” in a clear reference to Russia’s role in elections in the United States or Europe.
“We must never seem to be weak in front of President Putin,” French President Emmanuel Macron of Paris said before heading to Washington to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump.
“When we look weak, we use it” to “weaken our democracy,” he said in an interview with Fox News. But he stressed that he “respected” Putin.
More than a week after the strikes by Washington, London and Paris on Syria in response to a presumed chemical attack, Westerners need to revive dialogue with Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in search of a UN-sponsored political solution to the seven-year-old conflict.
A European delegate said that the United States’ strategy of concern to its allies has been “touched” since President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw US troops as soon as possible from Syria.
“The Americans are aware that there is a role they should play for a while, but they have not made clear any role, diplomatic, military, humanitarian …”
Two other issues are at the center of intense debate.
North Korea and North Korea are on the verge of a historic summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which will be held before the beginning of June and after months of escalation.
In their joint statement, the foreign ministers are expected to reiterate their determination to continue international pressure and sanctions despite the positive signals from Pyongyang, noting that the ultimate goal is “complete, verifiable and irrevocable nuclear disarmament.”
The second is Iran, while the US president is scheduled to decide by May 12 whether he will “tear up” the 2015 agreement signed by major powers with Tehran to prevent it from acquiring an atomic bomb.
To protect the deal, Trump calls on France, Britain and Germany, signatories to the deal, which was considered historic at the time but feels lenient, to propose solutions to tighten it.
A number of foreign ministers, led by Frenchman Jean-Yves Laudrian, told Acting Secretary of State John Salifan “a very strong call” to Washington “so as not to abandon the agreement” because it”
But the senior US official said “we have made great progress” in recent months with the Europeans “but we have not done it yet.”
The matter will be the main subject of Macron’s visit from Monday to Wednesday to Washington, where Donald Trump will be asked to keep the Iranian agreement “as long as there is no better nuclear option.”