G7 Foreign Ministers meet directly after pandemic suspension, China tops the agenda

London — Foreign Ministers from a group of seven wealthy industrialized nations met in London on Tuesday for the first face-to-face meeting in more than two years. China is at the top of the agenda.

The host country, the United Kingdom, is keen to show that developed country clubs remain influential in a rapidly changing world, with Russia, China and Iran’s increasingly aggressive stance on democratic societies. It warns that it will challenge the rule of international law.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the meeting “shows that diplomacy has revived.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his involvement with China “from a powerful standpoint … actually means working with allies and partners, not despising them.”

“It’s a place where so many rules are made that it means leaning on and engaging with a huge number of multilateral and international organizations. That’s where the norms are formed.” He said. “And we know that if we aren’t devoted, Beijing is likely to be trying to do so on our behalf.”

At the two-day meeting, top diplomats from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan will also discuss a military coup in Burma (also known as Myanmar), a humanitarian crisis in Syria, and Tigray. It was. In the crisis of Ethiopia and the instability of Afghanistan, the US military and its NATO allies have finished their 20-year deployment.

The British Foreign Ministry also said it would discuss “Russia’s ongoing malicious activities,” including Moscow’s early military buildup at the Ukrainian border and the imprisonment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab,
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab will address the G7 Foreign Minister at a social distance when meeting in London at a meeting at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on May 4, 2021. (Pool via Stephen Rousseau / AP)

G7 members may broadly agree to condemn Nawarny’s imprisonment or Beijing’s repression of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Minority, but relations with countries such as China and Russia will be leveled in the finals. need to do it. Wednesday communiqué.

Asked what message the group would send to the authoritarian regime, Raab said the G7 “believes in keeping trade open.” We believe in standing up for an open society, human rights and democracy. We believe in the protection and promotion of public goods. “

The G7 Minister will also seek to agree on ways to make the coronavirus vaccine available worldwide in the long term. But for now, wealthy nations are hesitant to give up valuable strains until they inoculate their own people.

Upon arriving at Lancaster House, a former majestic mansion in central London, the ministers wore masks and greeted each other with arm and elbow bumps. Plastic screens and on-site coronavirus testing among participants were one of the measures aimed at protecting the venue with COVID.

The British government, which chairs the G7 this year, has invited foreign ministers from Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa to part of a meeting that includes a formal dinner on Tuesday night. The guest list was aimed at emphasizing the G7’s support for democracy and the British government’s attempt to strengthen relations with Asia in the wake of its withdrawal from the European Union.

Britain’s conservative-led government says that after more than a year of turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic, the resumption of face-to-face meetings in the G7 will invigorate the group and step up attempts to counterfeit the post-Brexit “global Britain.” Wants the role of the UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will welcome other G7 leaders at a summit meeting in Cornwall, England in June.

Opposition politicians and international aid agencies say they will play a bigger role in world affairs with the government’s decision to cut the UK’s foreign aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP due to the economic blow from the pandemic. He states that his goals have been compromised.

Mr Raab said reducing aid was a “difficult decision,” but argued that Britain would be “an even greater force for the good of the world.”

Jill Laures