The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations were divided Friday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s recommendation that the G-7 bring Russia back into the club, according to a senior Japanese official.
In the first day of a two-day G-7 summit in Quebec’s Charlevoix, some members pointed to the importance of Russia’s involvement in major issues of the international community, while others opposed Moscow’s re-entry into the G-7, the official told reporters.
(German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not show a clear stance on the issue, the official said.
Abe was quoted by the official as saying it will be necessary for the international community to get Russia to play a “constructive role” in dealing with pressing issues such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Abe said G-7 members need to hold dialogue with Russia and seek its involvement in key international and regional issues.
But at the same time, he stressed the importance of the G-7 — as a group — sharing basic values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
(G-7 leaders attend a photo session.)
Speaking to reporters earlier Friday, Trump said, “I would recommend — it’s up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting. It should be a part of it.”
“Whether you like it or not — and it may not be politically correct — but we have a world to run, and in the G-7, which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out,” he said.
In 2014, the G-7 expelled Russia from what was then the Group of Eight nations in protest at Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, southern Ukraine.
The G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union.