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13 June 2018, 03:32 | Darnell Patrick
Credit AP EVAN VUCCI Donald Trump and other G-7 leaders pose for their “family portrait” Friday in Charlevoix Quebec
President Trump said Friday that Russian Federation should be allowed to rejoin the Group of 7 forum of leading economies, breaking with other leaders of that group who are meeting this weekend in Quebec.
European leaders met separately Friday ahead of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, a golf resort north of Quebec City, and presented Trump with a united front "backed by facts and figures" to counter his charge, officials said.
While the EU-state imposed sanctions on Russia over Crimea along with the rest of the bloc, Austria did not expel Russian diplomats like other Western nations following the March poisoning of a Russian former double agent and his daughter in Britain, an attack London has accused Moscow of being behind.
Mr Trump has said he is open to having a summit with Mr Putin, who U.S. intelligence officials have said directed Russian meddling in the 2016 election to help Mr Trump win. I have been Russia's worst nightmare. He spent Friday participating in the rituals of the G-7, including the formal greeting by host Trudeau, a group photo in front of the sparkling St. Lawrence River and a working lunch of Arctic char and buckwheat salad. If Hillary got in, I think Putin is probably going, 'Man I wish Hillary won, ' because you see what I do.
"We have a world to run", Trump said.
The G-7 is made up of the USA and allies Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
President Donald Trump's trade adviser says: "There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door".
"We are looking for peace in the world, we are not looking to play games". Earlier, Putin criticised the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal in a speech at the summit, reports AP.
But, in contrast to the United States' allies, the Russian president expressed understanding for Trump's decision that the United States would not sign the summit's final statement.
Trump wants Russia to rejoin G-7
"As for Russia's return to the G7, G8 - we never left it", he said.
Under Trump, the United States has abandoned its traditional role in the G-7 as an advocate for freer global trade, instead pushing more protectionist policies.
"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a brief statement reported by the government-controlled Sputnik news agency.
In an effort to counter propaganda, the G7 leaders agreed to work together to assert a "common narrative and response" to incidents.
The president reiterated the idea that a trade agreement could take a different shape, namely, individual deals with Canada and Mexico.
Tusk is attending the two-day G7 Summit in Quebec, along with leaders from the seven-largest world economies.
"It is nothing unusual and should be taken calmly, without irony", he said.
But to Trump, the very idea of global cooperation is anathema.
Trump was the last G7 leader to arrive and will probably be the first to leave on Saturday when he sets off for his nuclear summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
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