Xi touts Putin ties as USA tensions brings them closer

Armin Wolf accepts a Romy an Austrian television award in 2012 | Herbert Neubauer\ APA

Nearly immediately after US President Donald J. Trump caused a major rift in the Euro-Atlantic alliance by castigating his closest allies in the UK, Canada, and Germany by refusing to endorse a communique that called for an global, rules-based trade regime, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte joined Trump in further infuriating the Western alliance by for Russia's return to the worldwide forum.

Trump, talking to reporters as he left the White House for this weekend's G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, asked, "Why are we having a meeting without Russian Federation being in the meeting?" In the late 1990s, Russian Federation was invited to join, but then in 2014 the members chose to expel Russian Federation in response to its annexation of Crimea.

The G-7 is made up of the USA and allies Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

"I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in", Trump said Saturday before he left the gathering to travel to Singapore.

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Europe, Canada and Japan are largely united in opposition to Trump's protectionism while trying to find ways to bridge the divide and avoid rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on economic and other issues.

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"Maybe the American president doesn't care about being isolated today, but we don't mind being six, if needs be", Macron said.

The statement also criticized the USA decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and said they would endeavor to keep it alive and ensure further trade with Iran. There must be a clear understanding between the leaders of the two nuclear superpowers before some mishap somewhere results in unimaginable catastrophe for both countries and for the whole world.

Asked whether Trump did not care about "being isolated" from other world leaders, Macron responded, "Maybe, but nobody is forever".

Mr Macron - who has cultivated a close relationship with Mr Trump over recent months - stressed that the U.S. was isolated. "It will start first of all to hurt United States workers".

Trump maintained the US relationship with the country's northern neighbor is "probably better, as good or better, than it's ever been".

"In the future we'll be talking about future trade relations, but of course the security relationship that underpins the UK's long-standing special relationship with the United States is of particular importance to us".

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At the same time he downplayed tensions at the acrimonious G7 meeting in Quebec City, after Trump disowned the joint summit statement and lambasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

President Trump doesn't want anything to do with that. Syria certainly makes for an important topic, and it is significant that General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, focused on it at their recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland (TASS, June 8).

Trump said he had a list of 3,000 names for possible pardon consideration. From there, he planned to jet to Singapore for an unprecedented summit with the leader of North Korea, which is technically still in a state of war with the USA and considered by Trump's administration to be a state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump revealed that the first lady, who was admitted to Walter Reed Military Medical Center last month for what was described as a "benign kidney procedure", had "close to a four-hour operation" and said "she's doing great".

Trump set the tone before leaving Washington on Friday.

"True, the seven are still richer in per capita income, as they say, but the SCO economies are larger, and their population is much larger, too - half the world's population", Putin told reporters in Qingdao, according to a transcript of his remarks issued by the Kremlin.

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