France’s Macron ‘willing’ to attend G7 summit in US if pandemic allows


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French President Emmanuel Macron is open to travelling to the United States for an in-person meeting of G7 leaders if the coronavirus pandemic allows it, his office said on Wednesday, after the US president said he was considering hosting the event after all.

“He’s open, he’s even willing to go there, but obviously with this caveat: only if the sanitary conditions allow,” an Élysée Palace official said, after Macron and US President Donald Trump talked on the phone.

Trump, who is head of the G7 this year, had planned to hold this year’s summit at the presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland, in June, before cancelling the event in March amid the worsening health situation.

On Wednesday, he said he may again host the G7 summit in Washington or Camp David, because it would be a “great sign to all” of things returning to normal.

If the summit happens, the US would request that delegations be pared back to minimum personnel and would curtail nonessential events like the spousal program, a senior White House official told the Associated Press. 

A final decision would be needed in the coming days to ensure adequate time to prepare for the high-level meeting, the official said.

“Whatever form the G7 meeting takes, whether it’s a video conference or otherwise, I will definitely fight for multilateralism, that’s very clear, both in the G7 and the G20,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Pressed by AP on whether she would consider an actual trip to the US, Merkel said: “I chose my words with care.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it an interesting idea, but said leaders need a lot more details. He said it was important that G7 leaders meet in June so they can discuss the pandemic and restoring economic activity.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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