Russia’s advances on the Ukrainian border, the humanitarian situation in Syria and the coup in Burma were also on the table on the first day of the summit, in which representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and France participated. , Germany, Italy, Japan and the European Union, while tomorrow aspects such as health security and the supply of vaccines against the coronavirus will be addressed.
“We believe in keeping trade open, in taking a step forward in favor of open societies, human rights and democracy,” British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, host of the first in-person meeting of the group’s ministers since 2019.
Before the document with the conclusions of the meeting, which precedes the G7 leaders summit scheduled for June in Cornwall (south-west England), is published on Wednesday, Raab highlighted the importance of reaching common points of view to reduce the polluting emissions and manage the recovery from the pandemic.
Promoting the COVAX mechanism to facilitate access to vaccines in developing countries “is particularly important at the moment,” stressed the head of British diplomacy.
Raab held bilateral meetings today with his French counterparts, Jean-Yves Le Drian; Italy, Luigi Di Maio, and Canada, Marc Garneau, and plans to speak tomorrow on the margins of the official plenary meetings with the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, and with the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell .
CHINA AND RUSSIA FOCUS THE ATTENTION OF THE G7
The participating countries finalize the choice of diplomatic terms that they will use in their conclusions to address the challenges posed by China and Russia, with which there are shared interests, but which pose significant security problems.
The countries invited by the United Kingdom to the G7 – India, Australia, South Africa and South Korea – will participate tonight in a working dinner in which the defense challenges in the Indo-Pacific region will be analyzed, among other issues, while the advance of Russian troops towards the border with Ukraine occupied part of one of the plenary sessions of the day.
The ministers are also expected to express strong condemnation of the situation of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.
The efforts to demilitarize Libya and the December elections in that country also occupy the attention of ministers, as well as the situation in Syria and its neighboring countries. In this regard, the G7 ministers aspire to pressure Russia in relation to humanitarian assistance in the region.
On Burma, the diplomats meeting in London are expected to urge the military regime that has taken control of the country to cease its activity in their conclusions. During today’s session, measures to control the entry of arms and limit the financial flows of the ruling junta were analyzed.
BILATERAL ENCOUNTERS ON THE MARGINS
In the breaks of the plenary sessions of the summit, the diplomats took the opportunity to talk face to face to hold bilateral meetings.
The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, discussed the nuclear pact with Iran and Russia’s military exercises on the Ukrainian border.
Blinken, who had already met with Raab yesterday, also took the opportunity to meet today with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with whom he spoke about the benefits of a “close alignment” of the foreign policy of both countries.
In the first large face-to-face summit of G7 ministers since Brexit materialized, the United Kingdom took advantage of the meetings on the margins of the meeting to strengthen its bilateral ties with the group’s member countries.
Raab spoke with Le Drian about strategies to improve cooperation in the supply of vaccines, one of the disputes that have clouded relations between the two sides of the English Channel in recent months.
With his Italian counterpart, the British diplomat discussed the fight against climate change, as well as terrorism in North Africa, while with Garneau he discussed methods to deepen trade ties with Canada.
In parallel to the ministerial summit, Johnson also held a virtual meeting with Narendra Modi, the head of the Government of India, one of the countries that the British Executive has invited to the G7.
At that meeting, both leaders agreed on a “roadmap” to strengthen their ties on health and climate cooperation, among other aspects, in the next decade. They also expressed their intention to begin negotiating a free trade agreement, one of the key objectives of Johnson’s international economic policy after Brexit.