By Agence France-Presse
G7 leaders meet Friday determined to put on a display of united resolve in the fight against jihadist terrorism, despite deep divisions on trade and global warming.
The two-day summit in Sicily’s ancient hilltop resort of Taormina kicks off four days after children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will lead a discussion on terrorism in one of Friday’s working sessions and is expected to issue a call for G7 countries to put more pressure on internet companies to remove extremist content.
“The fight is moving from the battlefield to the internet,” a senior British official said ahead of the talks.
With May and Donald Trump among four new faces in the club of the world’s major democracies, the gathering in Italy is being billed as a key test of how serious the new US administration is about implementing its radical policy agenda, particularly on climate change.
Senior officials are preparing to work through the night of Friday-Saturday in a bid to bridge what appear to be irreconcilable differences over Trump’s declared intention of ditching the US commitment to the landmark Paris according on curbing carbon emissions.
The other new face is France’s youthful president, Emmanuel Macron, who has vowed to defend the Paris climate change deal agreed in 2015.
“On the climate question it might be important to have the whole night to reach a consensus,” a German government source said.
“Europe has a common position on that, but we have to get the whole G7 together.”
The effort to keep Trump onboard will focus on convincing his team that developing renewable energy forms and technology to facilitate cleaner fossil fuels can be drivers of the job-creating growth that he says is his priority.
“If we do it right climate protection and growth go hand in hand — and then it is not really important if it is a man-made problem or not,” said the German source.
Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn said Friday US compliance with its Paris commitments would be “crippling” to economic growth, but added the president was “interested to hear what the G7 leaders have to say about climate.”
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