UK urges G7 to present united front in face of 'rising threats'
G7 foreign ministers abided by COVID-19 safety guidelines in their first in-person meeting in 2 years. /Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP

G7 foreign ministers abided by COVID-19 safety guidelines in their first in-person meeting in 2 years. /Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP


The foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) are gathering in London for their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years to discuss issues around global health, economic prosperity and conflict.

The senior diplomats from the UK, the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are holding two days of talks beginning today. The agenda includes the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, the Tigray crisis in Ethiopia and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops and their NATO allies are winding down a two-decade war.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Britain's presidency of the G7 this year "is an opportunity to bring together open, democratic societies and demonstrate unity at a time when it is much needed to tackle shared challenges and rising threats."

Topics will also include relations with Russia, China and Iran as well as the ongoing war in Syria.

Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, said that while it was "not the U.S. purpose to contain China, or to hold it down," his country was "trying to uphold the international rules-based order" in relation to criticism of Beijing's policies. 

China has repeatedly demanded that the U.S. stay out of its domestic affairs. 



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The UK Foreign Office said the group would discuss "Russia's ongoing malign activity," including Moscow's build-up of troops along its Ukrainian border and the imprisonment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

G7 ministers will also try to agree on a plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available around the globe. Wealthy countries have been reluctant to give up precious stocks until they have inoculated their populations.

Organizers have taken steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the London meeting, including setting up plastic screens between participants and making on-site coronavirus tests available.

The British government invited the foreign ministers of Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa to join parts of the meeting, including a Tuesday dinner at the grand Lancaster House in central London.

The guest list indicates the UK's attempts to build stronger ties with Asia in the wake of the country's departure from the European Union.

Source(s): AP

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