Merkel: G7 agree on commitment to rules-based trade

Merkel-Trump G7 face-off photo headed for history books

It did not end with the photos - next came the sudden about turns and the rude remarks.

Taken by Mr Jezco Denzel, a photographer working for the German government and victor of a category award in this year's prestigious World Press Photo award, the German picture shows Dr Merkel dominant. A White House version (above, left) showed Trump with his arms crossed, smiling as everyone gathered around him. Then you carry your eyes toward the border of the picture and spot French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Shinzo Abe of Japan looks on with a world-weary expression.

After leaving the summit Saturday, Trump announced that the USA was pulling back its endorsement of the G7 communique in part because of what he called "false statements" at a news conference by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Other observers underlined a victory for Berlin's spin doctors.

Germany also said it will stand by the jointly agreed communique.

A victor, however, is in the eye of the beholder.

The German chancellor's comments on Sunday come after Trudeau announced that Canada would implement its own retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. Trump had given Canada, the European Union and Mexico temporary exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs he first announced in March, but said at the end of May that he would be ending the exemptions.

The BBC parsed the picture by identifying all nine individuals in it, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is barely visible, and Larry Kudlow, head of Trump's National Economic Council as well as several Japanese officials and us national security adviser John Bolton.

Touching the thorny issue of Germany's relatively low defence spending, Merkel acknowledged that Trump's criticism was partly correct and that Berlin had to do more to reach NATO's goal of spending to 2 percent of economic output on defence. Celebrities like George Takei even said on Twitter that the photo proved Trump was an "international disgrace".

So with the internet being the internet - memes, paintings, and captions are happening. "Maybe we can help", in a tart reference to alleged collusion between Russian President Vladimir Putin's government and the Trump team to influence the USA presidential election.

With as neutral an expression as possible, she stares directly at President Trump, who sits on the other side of the table.

And in a picture released by the Japanese leaders officials, Shinzo Abe looks powerful as he towers over the seated USA leader.

She conceded in an interview on German public television Sunday that the meeting's outcome "wasn't a great thing".

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose office for the first time in the history of the republic has reportedly ordered an overhaul of Germany's United States policy, went further.

"Europe United is the answer to America First". "Canada has objected in words, but will also do so in actions", she said, referencing the retaliatory measures Canada will impose next month.

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