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France hosts G7 in shadow of Trump snub, Brexit and yellow vests

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 5, 2019 - Duration: 01:20s

France hosts G7 in shadow of Trump snub, Brexit and yellow vests

France offered a wary welcome to foreign ministers from the Group of Seven on Friday for a meeting overshadowed by a snub from the U.S., Brexit and "Yellow Vests" protests in Paris.

Anna Bevan reports.

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France hosts G7 in shadow of Trump snub, Brexit and yellow vests

France is offering a wary welcome to foreign ministers in town for the G7, for a meeting overshadowed by a snub from the United States, a meltdown in Britain over Brexit, and months of anti-government protests in Paris.

The notable no-show is U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who sent a deputy instead.

One diplomat there told Reuters that Pompeo was sending a message that he has, quote, "better things to do." French diplomats say they've scaled back their ambitions for their hosting of the club of rich countries after President Trump backed out of a joint communiqué at last year's summit in Canada and criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The United States' deteriorating relationship with the other countries here isn't the only concern for French President Emmanuel Macron.

Protesters in the sleepy coastal resort of Dinard, where the meeting is being held, spray painted slogans attacking the French leader.

They mirror the anger vented across the country in more than five months of anti-government "yellow vest" protests.

This meeting's meant to set the agenda for when G7 leaders meet later in the year and ensure that they are all largely in agreement.

But all these tensions mean that where the countries were once largely in accord, they now seek the lowest common denominator.

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