The US President blocked initiatives that sought globalist control of environmental policy and international commerce.
The more complicated G7 of the last years has ended up being an exercise of diplomatic juggling.
After two days in search of time to reach consensus in order not to damage the fragile relations with the United States, great pacts have not been achieved beyond the fight against terrorism and sanctions against Russia.
The other six countries, which have formed a block during the two days, agreed to move through a period of uncertainty until the next G20, to be held in Hamburg on 7 July. “Difficult and unsatisfactory,” has been the label used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The discussions have given rise to a final dilution statement. Shorter than usual – six pages and 39 points.
In fact, in matters such as trade, for example, according to G7 sources who have participated in the meetings, it has been necessary to tiptoe over everything related to the fight against protectionism, the mention of which has finally been included. But it has had to surround himself with nuances like “combating unfair practices” to satisfy the US president’s suspicions about some EU countries.
“Trump has a different trade policy than its predecessor,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. Among the flagrant absences is the null mention of Latin America. Not even in the commercial chapter.
At the end of the summit, however, all leaders have wished to re-mark points of agreement on issues such as Libya, North Korea or the fight against terrorism on the Internet.
Macron, who has not wanted to blame Trump directly from the blockade said that “a few days ago we thought that the US would leave the Paris Accords and there would be no discussion. So I think there has been progress and a good exchange of ideas. That will allow Trump to become aware of the importance of what is at stake, even for its economy.”
But it was difficult to hide the feeling of failure in the big issues. Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the host of the meeting, has not denied the difficulties generated in the debates.
“It was a real discussion. More authentic than on other occasions. An occasion of confrontation between leaders, as it has been in this case, to show the positions, even if they are different. ”
And in the end, the climate issue, on which they exerted all the possible pressure to convince Trump, has been settled in a “we will see” basis.
The joint statement the G7 specifies that six countries remain firm to the commitments made in 2015 in Paris and will await the outcome of the internal reflection launched by the Trump Administration. There was no possibility of more.
Merkel defined the negotiation as “difficult and unsatisfactory”. In fact, this is where one of the hallmarks of this summit has been more clearly defined: six countries plus one. “We must have patience with him,” said G7 sources.
The migratory crisis, whose landings have been diverted from Sicily to Calabria in order not to disturb the order at the summit in Taormina, has been one of the thematic axes of the day.
Italy, the European country most affected at the moment by the phenomenon, wanted to write an annex to the final communiqué where the issue was dealt with in more detail and with a roadmap.
The G7 met Saturday with leaders of Tunisia, Nigeria, Niger, Kenya and Ethiopia with the intention of reaching agreements. Also present were UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde.
But the final communique does not seem to reach much more than the usual good intentions and the Solomonic agreements that leave any initiative on wet paper.
It also highlights the distinction between “immigrants and refugees” and recognizes, with a nod to Trump, the right of states to control their own borders and carry out their own immigration policies.
Beyond the diplomatic varnish surrounding the rhetoric of the final text, the real points of agreement are found in issues such as North Korea, Libya, Syria and the fight against terrorism.
That is, most of the warlike conflicts that threaten global stability. It’s not little. But, again, it is not specified in what terms that balance will be preserved, especially in places like North Korea, where the strength of diplomatic channels is declining.
The lack of a specific US position on the major issues to be discussed at the summit has greatly surprised the other six delegations.
Also the changes of opinion, as in the issue of sanctions on Russia, where at the last minute it was reversed and economic adviser, Gary Cohn, confirmed that they would continue on the same line.
Alarmed by the possible fracture, the group has chosen to tone down, seek agreements and give more time. Above all, thinking about the next G20 summit to be held in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July.
“There are six members with very clear positions and a seventh who needs time to think. We can take this encounter as an apprenticeship,” said a senior source from the participants.
What is clear is that Trump’s lack interest to make fellow leaders feel good has managed to unite the rest of the leaders, especially those in the EU. His ways, gestures, comments on his companies whenever he approached a world leader to refer to his country, the disagreement over German trade, the push to the prime minister of Montenegro worked as a great glue for the fractured EU.
Italian security forces have fired tear gas at groups of far-left protesters who were outside the venue hosting the summit. According to local media there were around a thousand, they carried banners with communist symbols and threw stones at the agents.