Trump looking to postpone G-7 summit until after Nov. election

Aug 11 , 2020. 6 hours ago – 12:27 KYODO NEWS

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Kyodo)

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he is considering hosting the Group of Seven summit after the November presidential election, further pushing back the schedule after earlier suggesting the gathering could take place around September.

“We haven’t sent out invitations….I’m much more inclined to do it sometime after the election,” Trump said at the press conference, adding that he believes that the atmosphere would be “better” and “calmer” at that time.

Trump said he also wants to invite other countries that are not members of the G-7 framework, as he proposed earlier.

It is not immediately known, however, whether the Republican president would convene the gathering if he loses to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election.

Trump had earlier planned to host the summit in June at Camp David, the presidential retreat near the U.S. capital. But he said in May that he would postpone it until at least September amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual gathering brings together leaders from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union, with the presidency rotating each year.

Trump has also broached the idea of inviting countries including Australia, Brazil, India, Russia and South Korea to the summit in the United States.

But some G-7 members have voiced objections to Trump’s call to readmit Russia, which was dropped from the framework following an international outcry over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

“We feel it is important that the framework of the G-7 be maintained,” Japan’s top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, told a press conference on Tuesday. Suga also said the timing and other details of the summit would be decided by Washington.

Despite the repeated postponements, Trump said at the press conference Monday that the G-7 is “very important.”

CR:KYODO NESS