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Biden brings some normal back to the G7

“Angela, Boris, Emmanuel, Justin, Mario, Yoshihide and a relative newcomer: Joe. They’re the board of global democracy’s most exclusive club, and they’re meeting this week after four years of U.S. disruption and a two-year coronavirus interruption. Already on a first-name basis with relationships that range from just months to years, the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies are gathering Friday amid hopes that the departure of their most unruly member and a new era of personal friendships enhanced by face-to-face discussions can restore a global anti-authoritarian consensus on climate, the coronavirus, China and Russia. The G-7’s return to polite quasi-normality comes as President Joe Biden seeks to restore steady U.S. leadership to the bloc, which had been hamstrung by his predecessor Donald Trump’s often confrontational approach to longtime American allies. U.S. officials believe Biden’s decadeslong experience in foreign policy combined with his personal skills and folksy demeanor will ease lingering resentments.”

“Trump had thrown a wrench into G-7 unity, demanding the absolute prioritization of U.S. interests, threatening decades-old security guarantees, insulting colleagues and loudly suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin be invited back into the group despite his refusal to meet demands for Moscow to stay out of Ukraine. Biden aims to take a new tack. Asked about his goals upon departing from Washington, Biden replied: ‘Strengthening the alliance and make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight, and the G-7 is going to move.’ Of the seven leaders meeting Friday in Britain’s southwest Cornwall, two are newbies. Biden and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi took office within weeks of each other this year” – AP.

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