September 19, 2019
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Trump returns to G7 with Johnson as ally, Iran and China on agenda

Washington, USA, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States will arrive at his second G7 Summit this weekend in Biarritz, France, with the new prime minister of the United Kingdom as a possible ally and an agenda focused on Washington's recent spats with Iran and China.

After making his debut in 2018 at the summit of the world's seven largest economies, a gathering that ended with the US leader's refusal to sign the final declaration amid tensions with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump will once again meet with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK.

Boris Johnson, who became the UK's prime minister on July 24 with a promise to wrap up the Brexit process of leaving the European Union by Oct. 31, is expected to be one of the leaders with the best relationship with Trump.

The US president said during a visit last week to New Hampshire, where he held a rally, that he and Johnson were "very much aligned."

Trump said he expected to "make a fantastic and big trade deal with the UK," leaving the door open for closer trade ties between Washington and post-Brexit London.

The president said the two sides were moving ahead on a trade deal, but he did not provide details.

On Monday, Trump and Johnson discussed trade and other economic issues.

"Great discussion with Prime Minister @BorisJohnson today. We talked about Brexit and how we can move rapidly on a US-UK free trade deal. I look forward to meeting with Boris this weekend, at the @G7, in France!" Trump said in a Twitter post.

The G7 leaders are expected to discuss a number of issues, including Iran in light of the rising tensions between Tehran and Washington following the Trump administration's decision last year to pull out of the 2015 nuclear pact with the Islamic Republic.

Tensions escalated again in April after Trump ended sanctions exemptions for countries buying Iranian oil.

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or nuclear pact) limited Iranian nuclear activity in exchange for relief from sanctions.

After Trump withdrew the US from the JCPOA, Iran's supreme leader said he was not interested in negotiations unless Washington returned to the 2015 pact and ended sanctions.

Iran and the other signatories, Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union, officially remain committed to the JCPOA.

Russia was suspended from the G7 in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.

In July, Iran downgraded its JCPOA commitments in an effort to pressure the EU to provide assistance for its struggling economy.

Washington, in turn, responded by imposing sanctions on July 31 on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The US-China trade war, with the two sides imposing tariffs on each other, is another issue likely to be discussed at the summit.

On Aug. 1, Trump announced a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods from China effective Sept. 1 after the latest round of trade talks with the Asian nation failed to produce a deal.

Less than two weeks later, the White House said it would hold off on imposing the additional tariffs on certain products until Dec. 15.

China responded to the tariff announcement by halting purchases of agricultural goods from the US and allegedly allowing the yuan to fall in value against the dollar. EFE-EPA


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