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Trump can't change G-7 format: EU

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The EU's chief diplomat on Tuesday warned President Donald Trump he did not have the power to change the format of G-7 summit, after the US leader said he wanted to invite several other countries, including Russia.

[BRUSSELS] The EU's chief diplomat on Tuesday warned President Donald Trump he did not have the power to change the format of G-7 summit, after the US leader said he wanted to invite several other countries, including Russia.

Russia was expelled from the club of the world's leading industrial nations in 2014 after annexing Crimea from Ukraine, but Mr Trump says the current membership is outdated.

Leaders from the Group of Seven - the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - had been scheduled to meet by videoconference this month but Mr Trump said on Saturday that he plans to hold an in-person summit later, possibly in September.

Calling the current lineup of countries "very outdated", the US leader also said he planned to invite other countries, including Russia, to join the meeting.

But EU foreign affairs high representative Josep Borrell said that Russia had not changed course since 2014 and should not be re-admitted.

"The prerogative of the G-7 chair, in this case the United States, is to issue guest invitations - guest invitations reflect the host's priorities," Mr Borrell said.

"But changing membership, changing the format on a permanent basis, is not a prerogative of the G-7 chair."

Later the Indian government said that Mr Trump had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the G-7 summit.

Mr Trump and Mr Modi spoke by phone on Tuesday and the US president "conveyed his desire to expand the ambit of the grouping beyond the existing membership, to include other important countries including India," the Delhi government said in a statement.

Mr Modi commended Mr Trump "for his creative and far-sighted approach, acknowledging the fact that such an expanded forum would be in keeping with the emerging realities of the post-Covid world," the statement added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the idea of inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing his "continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms".

AFP

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