Trump deepens G7 divide with call to readmit Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron listens during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace in Paris

But French officials have indicated the European Union and USA will establish a dialogue on trade within the next two weeks, signalling a modest step forward at G7.

The group managed a common statement in which they agreed to disagree on some issues, only to have Trump disavow the document in a tweet after leaving the meeting.

In the first day of a two-day G-7 summit in Quebec's Charlevoix, some members pointed to the importance of Russia's involvement in major issues of the global community, while others opposed Moscow's re-entry into the G-7, the official told reporters.

But that means he will miss a working session among the leaders on climate change and clean energy, as well as talks among the G7 and poorer countries focused on the health of oceans.

Ahead of the encounter, the allies made no secret of their anger at Trump's stance, pointed starkly to fears that he is undermining the rules-based world order and driving former USA friends into a damaging trade war. "They should let Russian Federation come back in because we should have Russian Federation at the negotiating table", the USA leader said before boarding the presidential jet. Instead of fighting big battles with Trump, his counterparts were angling for a baseline of agreement that might be as low as an acknowledgment of the important role of the G-7.

A few hours earlier, Trudeau had told reporters that all seven leaders had come together to sign the joint declaration. I think it is going to be very positive.

European officials at the summit were shocked by the idea, or dismissive, and Tusk, while admitting that it was hard to be surprised by Trump's pronouncements any more, said: "Let's leave the G7 as it is".

Canada has been particularly outraged that Trump invoked a national security justification for his global tariff on steel and aluminium imports, even those from close USA allies.

"Things are moving forward at the G7", Macron told reporters.

Expectations for a major breakthrough on trade at the summit, however, remain low, with United States allies focused on avoiding rupturing the G7, which in its 42-year history has tended to seek consensus on major issues.

Donald Trump arrived late for the first working session on gender equality but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau forged ahead with opening remarks without him, commenting wryly about "stragglers".

After spending much of Trump's first or so year in office courting the president, Macron shifted his attitude most prominently on Thursday during a feisty press conference.

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