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Global conflicts are likely to overshadow the G7 summit in France

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations began arriving in France on Saturday for a summit overshadowed by a US-China dispute over protectionism, highlighting the difficulty of President Emmanuel Macron’s mission to produce tangible results on trade dossiers. And Iran and climate change.

The three-day summit is being held in the French resort of Biarritz on the Atlantic Ocean amid sharp disagreements over a range of global issues that could further divide countries struggling to speak with one voice.

Macron, who is hosting the summit, wants leaders from Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to focus on defending democracy, gender equality, education and climate change. The French president invited leaders from Asia, Africa and Latin America to participate in the summit to support these global issues.

But Macron’s agenda may change because of the intensified trade war between China and the United States, intensified efforts by European governments to ease tensions between Washington and Tehran and mounting international condemnation over the fires in the Amazon.

A French diplomatic source said Macron was considering holding a joint news conference with US President Donald Trump at the end of the summit and that he had already decided not to issue a final statement to avoid a repeat of the failure of the previous summit.

US officials said Trump would seek to promote his policies on tax cuts, easing regulations and pressing allies to follow his model to avoid problems facing the global economy.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will seek a balance between not alienating Britain’s European allies, Trump’s anger and possibly threatening future trade relations. Johnson is due to hold bilateral talks with Trump on Sunday morning.

However, diplomats played down the possibility that Johnson and Trump could unite against the rest of the leaders because of the close alliance between Britain’s foreign policy and Europe on a range of issues from Iran to trade to climate change.

Anti-summit demonstrations are expected in nearby Andai, which borders France and Spain, but more than 13,000 security personnel, backed by soldiers, will ensure that the protests remain far from Biarritz.

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