Washington, May 31 (PTI) US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit till September and expressed his desire to expand the "outdated" bloc to G10 or G11, including India and three other nations to the grouping of the world''s top economies.
Trump has been over the weeks suggesting that there is "no greater example" of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic than holding an in-person G7 summit in America by the end of June.
The president, in an interaction with reporters travelling with him aboard the Air Force One from Florida to Washington DC on Saturday, said that he is “postponing it (the summit) until September” and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India.
“I don''t feel that as a G7, it properly represents what''s going on in the world. It''s a very outdated group of countries,” he said.
“So it might be a G10, G11, and it could be after the election (in the US) is over...,” Trump said.
He said the G7 Summit could happen before the UN General Assembly session in September.
“Maybe I''ll do it after the election. I think a good time would be before the election,” he said.
The presidential election in the US is scheduled for November 3. Trump is seeking a second term in the White House.
Trump then said the summit could take place the weekend before or after the UN General Assembly, which is currently scheduled to begin on September 15.
Trump said that he has already “roughly” broached the idea with the leaders of the four countries he''d like to add.
“We want Australia, we want India, we want South Korea. And what do we have? That''s a nice group of countries right there,” he said, not mentioning Russia.
Trump has already talked about re-inviting Russia back to the group, which was kicked out of the bloc which was originally G8 countries during the previous Obama administration.
In 2014, Russia was disinvited from gatherings of the former G8 after the country''s annexation of Crimea.
Alyssa Alexandra Farah, White House Director of Strategic Communications, said that this is bringing together “our traditional allies” to talk about how to deal with the future of China.
The tension between the US and China is escalating over the coronavirus pandemic, with America accusing Beijing of not divulging timely information about the disease and demanding a probe into the origins of the virus.
However, China has rejected all US allegations of a cover up regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel''s office said on Saturday that she would not attend the summit unless the course of the coronavirus spread had changed by then.
According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the COVID-19 has infected over 6 million people and claimed more than 369,000 lives worldwide.
The US is the worst-hit country in the world with more than 1.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 103,000 deaths.
G7 is the group of top seven developed economies. These include the US, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada. Heads of States of these countries meet annually on international economic and monetary issues.
The US currently holds the annual presidency of G7 countries. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, there were talks of the summit being held virtually. However, Trump had been suggesting that it be held in person.
During the summit, the G7 president normally invites heads of states of one or two countries to attend the meeting as a special invitee. Last year, French President Emanuel Macron had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G7 Summit.
Trump talking about inviting India to the next G7 Summit is reflective of the growing international stature of the country. PTI LKJ RS AKJ RS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI