- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) - The Latest on the G-7 summit in Taormina, Sicily (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

The Italian air force’s Frecce Tricolori acrobatics team is putting on a show for the G-7 summit, streaming the colors of the Italian flag over the sea as the leaders watch from garden in Sicily.

U.S. President Donald Trump, and the leaders of six other wealthy democracies - France, Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy and Canada - are in Taormina, Sicily for this year’s G-7 summit at the 5-star San Domenico Palace hotel.

The top issues of the two-day meeting Friday and Saturday are climate change, security, trade and immigration - and the differences between the leaders are substantial.

Endorsing measures to combat terror is expected to find easy agreement, however, especially after the attack on a pop concert killed 22 people Monday night in Manchester.

___

12:55 p.m.

Environmental activists have staged protests on a beach and at sea near the Sicilian hilltop town of Taormina, where leaders of the world’s seven wealthiest democracies were meeting.

Greenpeace and Oxfam members carried out stunts on the seafront of Giardini Naxo on Friday to urge the Group of Seven leaders to fight climate change, one of the most problematic issues on the agenda of the two-day meeting.

Greenpeace activists on eight kayaks unfurled banners at sea with messages including “Planet Earth first.” On shore they unveiled a 4-meter (13-foot) Statue of Liberty in a life jacket that symbolized the plight of migrants and the threat of rising seas, one effect of climate change.

Oxfam activists wore masks representing the seven leaders and had a banner with the words “Paris Agreement,” the deal to fight global warming which U.S. President Trump has threatened to abandon.

___

12:15 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has detailed his top priorities at the G-7, which include climate change and trade.

At a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, Macron insisted on the need for “reciprocity” on trade and said Europeans sometimes had a “too naive” approach on trade deals.

The two leaders also found common ground on terrorism, following the attack on a pop concert in Manchester that killed 22 people. Macron offered his condolences for the Manchester attack, calling for increased European cooperation against terror “because they attack our young.”

That comment also referred to the Nice truck attack last summer that killed children and young families at a fireworks display, as well as the attack on a concert at the Bataclan theater in Paris.

Macron spoke fluent English, which is very unusual for a French president.

___

11:55 p.m.

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s views, Italy’s leader is pushing for the G-7 summit to issue a strong statement on both fighting climate change and on handling the vast flow of migrants and refugees in need of help around the world.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, the host of this year’s G-7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, spoke Friday as the two-day summit of the world’s wealthy democracies began.

Gentiloni says “We will make an important declaration today here in Taormina on climate change, on great migrant flows, on free trade in the world on which so many jobs depend and the future prospects for our economy.”

The Italian leader says the talks won’t be easy but “the spirit of Taormina will help push us in the right direction.”

___

11:20 a.m.

The chairman of the European Union’s council says he agrees with President Donald Trump that the international community should be “tough, even brutal” on terrorism and Islamic State.

European Council President Donald Tusk said terrorism was one of the main topics between EU officials and Trump during his visit to Brussels, especially in the wake of the Manchester pop concert bombing.

Tusk said that “I totally agreed with him when he said the international community, the G7, the United States, Europe - should be tough, even brutal, with terrorism and ISIS” an acronym for the extremist group fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Tusk spoke at the start of a meeting of the Group of Seven democracies in Taormina, Sicily.

___

7 a.m.

The hot-button issues of climate change, trade and migration threaten to throw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies off its consensus game, with U.S. President Donald Trump cast as the spoiler-in-chief.

While Trump has met all of the leaders one on one, this will be the first time all seven are around the same table, including newcomers Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of Britain and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni.

Climate policy promises to be the real buzzkill at the G-7 party. Endorsing measures to combat terror is expected to find easy agreement, especially after the attack in Manchester on a pop music concert that left 22 people dead.

Trump also going against the grain on trade, taking a more protectionist stand.

His pending review of U.S. climate policies has left environmentalists bracing for the possibility of bland G-7 promises that says little after years of increasingly stronger commitments to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide