Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

G7 Latest: Macron ‘completely disrespectful’ to Trump and world leaders over Iran invite | World | News

A senior French official has said French President Emmanuel Macron personally told US President that Iran’s chief diplomat was invited as leaders gathered for their summit, a fact later confirmed by Mr Trump. Nevertheless, Ms Haley tweeted: “This is completely disrespectful to @realDonaldTrump and the other leaders at the G7. “Iran supports terrorism at every turn and continues to pursue “”.

Ms Haley added: “Manipulative of Macron to do this and very insincere. #NotWhatFriendsDo.” 

Speaking at the summit, Mr Trump said Mr Macron had spoken to him about asking Mr Zarif to attend.

He said he had not personally met with Mr Zarif, saying it was “too soon” to do so – but refused to say whether US officials had.

The French official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive discussions, would not say when or how Mr Trump was informed of Sunday’s surprise arrival of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

His visit has been considered a high-stakes gamble for Mr Macron, who is the host of the gathering in Biarritz.

Mr Zarif spent about five hours in Biarritz after his plane touched down at the airport, which has been closed since Friday to all flights unrelated to the official G7 delegations.

The official noted that Mr Macron and the US leader met for two hours on Saturday and discussed Iran at length, as well as at the informal group dinner Saturday night.

Mr Zarif later tweeted: “Iran’s active diplomacy in pursuit of constructive engagement continues.

“Met @EmmanuelMacron on sidelines of #G7Biarritz after extensive talks with @JY_LeDrian & Finance Min. followed by a joint briefing for UK/Germany. Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying.” 



8.50am update: Brown lambasts “impotent” G7 – “More like G Zero”

Labour former prime minister Gordon Brown has branded the G7 “impotent”.

Mr Brown told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “When you have got an organisation that cannot agree on a communique, that has got no agreed agenda, that’s got no agreement even on membership, and has broken down, as far as I can see, over the weekend into small huddles of individuals doing bilateral discussions – you’ve really got a leaderless world.

“It is rightly called by some the G Zero because the world seems to be more divided than I can remember.

“And that means that the G7 is impotent.”

8.45am update: Trump may impose tariffs on French wine over Macron’s tech tax

President Donald Trump said on Monday upcoming talks about France’s tax on the revenues of big technology firms would determine whether the United States imposes its own tax on French wine.

Trump and his Western allies are due to discuss the world’s digital transformation later on Monday at a G7 summit in France.

Trump also said he felt certain Japan would finalise a trade deal with the United States.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday they had agreed in principle on a trade deal.

8.40am update: Trump “not seeking regime change” in Iran

President Donald Trump said on Monday he wanted to see a strong Iran and was not seeking regime change in Tehran, adding that the way Iranians were being forced to live was unacceptable.

Talking to reporters at a summit of wealthy nation leaders, Trump said he had not been surprised that France had invited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for talks on Sunday on the sidelines of the G7 gathering.

However, he said he had not wanted to see Zarif himself, adding that it was too soon for such an encounter.

8.38am update: Morrison congratulates Johnson after England’s Ashes win

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison greeted Boris Johnson and immediately addressed England’s cricket win as the pair met at the G7 summit in Biarritz.

“Congratulations on the Ashes,” he told Mr Johnson.

The UK Prime Minister replied that he was “not taking anything for granted” and Mr Morrison pointed out there were “two to go”.

The final two games of the series – which is currently level at one-all – will take place in September.

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