G7 To Maintain Tough Line On Russia Over Syria, Ukraine Conflicts

Elias Hubbard
April 23, 2018

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations were united in opposing Russia's destabilizing behavior while agreeing to leave the door open for dialogue with Moscow, a senior USA official said on Sunday.

The high-level meeting is taking place without the new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is yet to be confirmed by Congress. John J. Sullivan, current acting Secretary of State for the United States, sits with, from left, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Maria Angela Holguin, Colombia's minister of Foreign Affairs, during a G7 Outreach session.

The ministers, meeting in Toronto for just two days, discussed tensions with Moscow, " Iran and North Korea, although in addition fixing political issues in Venezuela and also Myanmar. "But it can also be interpreted as leaving the door open", a source told Reuters.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin took part in some of the Toronto sessions.

The G7, comprised of representatives from the US, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Japan, will instead look for ways to keep pressure on Russian Federation, as well as Iran and NKorea, over their nuclear weapons programs. Ahead of the meeting the USA official briefed reporters that the talks would focus on the way forward in Syria, Iran's alleged "malign activities" in the Middle East region and North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

She announced Canada will host a much larger gathering of women foreign affairs ministers in September ahead of the annual UN General Assembly session. The G7 contains the United States of America, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy along with Japan.

The group last week condemned what it said was a Russian nerve agent attack in Britain.

Russian Federation denies any involvement in the nerve attack on British soil in March.

The US official said the allies would also discuss developments with European partners France, Germany and Britain on updating a nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.

US sanctions will restart except Trump yet again waives them on May 12.

US President Donald Trump has called the 2015 Iran pact one of the worst agreements ever negotiated and will decide by May 12 whether to restore US economic sanctions on Tehran, which would be a severe blow to the pact.

Trump has threatened to tear the agreement up unless European capitals agree to supplement it with tougher controls on Iran's missile program and future ability to return to nuclear fuel enrichment.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday Iran's nuclear bureau was ready with "expected and unexpected" responses when the united states of america pulls out of the 2015 deal.

"One of the things we are concerned about now is the (deal) and where that is headed", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on the sidelines of the G7 meeting.

The Toronto meeting, due to end tomorrow evening, will help G7 leaders prepare for another summit, which is to be held in June of this year. Pyongyang claimed on Saturday it scrap its atomic test website and would suspend atomic and missile tests.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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