Trump at G7: misses Macron meeting, suggests bringing Russia back

France, Canada warn Trump on trade war

At last year's summit in Sicily, Mr Trump would not agree to sign a closing statement on climate change and withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement days later.

There are diminishing hopes the G7 will defuse the situation and allow the sides to step back from an all-out trade war.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is greeted by President Donald Trump prior to holding talks at the White House in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2017.

"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.

Despite the backslaps and bro-hugs, parades and state dinners, Japan's Shinzo Abe, France's Emmanuel Macron and Canada's Justin Trudeau are finding out the hard way that flattery is a one-way street with Trump, according to Politico.

Russia was ousted from the elite group in 2014 as punishment for Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea, and its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Macron called on other G7 leaders not to water down a joint communique at the end of the summit, at the expense of shared values, simply in an effort to win Trump's signature, warning that a "G6 plus one" outcome was possible. The United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to NAFTA in the 1990s, and all three countries have worked to renegotiate the deal since Trump became president. "If it doesn't happen, we come out even better!" the president wrote on Twitter, hours before he's due to arrive in Quebec.

Trump's friendly fire has ramped up tensions in anticipation of the summit, promising a showdown when the President comes face to face with a group of world leaders he has repeatedly offended.

Trump will skip out on G-7 meetings about climate change, clean energy and ocean protection. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, "Didn't you guys burn down the White House?" referring to the War of 1812.

While trade is not officially on the agenda of the G-7 summit, there is a theme called "economic growth that works for everyone".

"We know certainly that there will be frank and sometimes hard discussions around the G7 table, particularly with the USA president on tariffs", Trudeau told reporters.

Trump's "America First" message to allies has hardened since he brought hardline national security adviser John Bolton on to his team.

Canada, Mexico and the European Union have separately announced retaliatory tariffs. "But Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested to the German parliament on Wednesday that she is bracing for some frank talks.

Trump, for his part, has argued that the European Union countries and Canada have imposed tariffs on U.S. goods for years to the detriment of United States farmers and factories, though he did not mention any specific regulations.

What did President Trump say?

Late Thursday, the White House announced that Trump would be leaving the G-7 late Saturday morning to head to Singapore ahead of his summit with Kim, though the G-7 meeting was scheduled to last until later that day.

Conte, a political novice, was just sworn in last Friday, leading a coalition of far-right and Euro-skeptic parties.

The summit is being held in the picturesque Quebec town.

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