LONDON – Leaders of the G-7 industrialized nations group meet this weekend in Britain, with an agenda led by the global coronavirus pandemic recovery, climate change, taxation and the challenges posed by Russia and China.
The three-day summit starting Friday will be held in Carbis Bay, a well-known tourist resort in Cornwall on Britain’s southwest peninsula. British warships are patrolling along the coastline and more than 6,500 police officers have been deployed as Britain prepares to host the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.
Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa have also been invited to participate.
The summit marks President Joe Biden’s first official trip abroad to the post. Speaking to reporters Wednesday at Andrews Base in Maryland as he prepared to fly to Britain aboard Air Force One, President Biden was asked about his travel priorities. “Strengthening the alliance. “Making it clear to Putin and China that Europe and the United States have close relations and the G-7 will move,” said President Biden.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday he was looking forward to welcoming allies in person. “This is the first time in almost six months in office that US President Joe Biden has been able to come across the sea for an important voyage; is his first time on the European continent. “It’s the first time each of us will really be able to see each other in person since the pandemic began.”
“So here at the G-7, what we’re aiming for is to make sure we have a new pandemic treaty, working with it, rebuilding more ecologically, getting better back, so we’re looking at what’s going on here in Cornwall with all the green technology, but also talking about the values we have in common, everything we want to do together. “There is a big agenda,” said Prime Minister Johnson.
After four years of troubled transatlantic relations under former President Donald Trump – whose “First America” agenda has cooled many allies – President Biden will receive a warm welcome in Europe, says analyst Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, vice president of the German Fund Marshall of the United States.
“Trying to rebuild trust – the trust lost with allies – is at the heart of the agenda. “And this message comes out loud and clear,” Kleine-Brockhoff told VOA. But, he added that the wounds have not yet fully healed.
“There is a long-standing suspicion that Joe Biden could be an extension, an intermezzo between two nationalist presidencies and an America that has changed in the long run. And so, investing in President Biden’s administration [nga aleatët evropianë] “It is not immediately apparent what President Biden’s administration would have hoped for,” said Kleine-Brockhoff.
However, analysts say G-7 leaders will make a strong show of unity amid the many challenges, says Creon Butler, former adviser to the British government on the G-7 and now director of the Global Economics and Finance Program at the institute. of London’s Chatham House foreign policy.
“The recovery from COVID is generally the key issue and you can see it in the way the UK is presenting the summit,” Butler told VOA. “There is a kind of economic aspect and then there are other aspects, especially in terms of health.”
The summit organizer, British Prime Minister Johnson, has promised that the G-7a will help vaccinate the entire world by the end of 2022. One of his predecessors, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, says rhetoric must be turned into reality. .
“I think it is no exaggeration to say that Friday’s G-7a is a matter of life and death. “His decision will determine who is vaccinated and safe and who remains unvaccinated and at risk of dying,” Mr Brown told a virtual meeting at Chatham House on Tuesday.
G-7 leaders will also focus on the issue of climate change, trade and taxes. G-7 finance ministers backed a plan for a 15% global minimum tax rate. “This is really quite revolutionary,” Butler said. “As it is, in fact, the agreement on the division of tax rights – so not only in the place where the company’s tax residence is, but also in places where a company can have very large revenues but where it pays a lot, a lot a little tax ”.
Mr Butler said the holding of the G-7 summit by Britain provides an ideal platform for the government to project a new image now that it has left the European Union.
“Indeed, the G-7a is now even more important to the UK and indeed to the Western alliance in general, now that the UK has left the EU, because, of course for the UK, things who may have wanted to coordinate and cooperate within the EU, the G-7a is now the logical place to do so.
The threat to the G-7 democracies from Russia and China will also be discussed in Cornwall. President Biden will hope for a strong response from allies, says analyst Kleine-Brockhoff.
“The question of whether Western countries can find a common approach to China and whether President Biden can get from his European allies the language and commitment he needs for his domestic political goals… for me this remains the big question.” said Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff.
Some of the G-7 leaders will travel from Cornwall to Brussels on Monday for a NATO summit. President Biden is scheduled to meet with European Union leaders on Tuesday.
Analysts say the sequence of meetings is aimed at highlighting Allied support ahead of President Biden’s meeting Wednesday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva.