Vienna possible venue for Putin-Trump summit

U.S. President Donald Trump | Mark Wilson  Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump | Mark Wilson Getty Images

Bruising for a fight, President Donald Trump barreled into the Group of Seven summit Friday, eager to confront longtime USA allies over a burgeoning trade dispute and insisting Russian Federation should be brought back into the fold.

Xi and Putin called the US decision to leave the Iranian nuclear deal "disappointing" in their joint statement, and said it was of "fundamental importance" to protect trade relations with the Islamic Republic against "unilateral extraterritorial sanctions". Facing pointed criticism from increasingly disillusioned allies, he punched back, uncowed by the growing global outcry. He added: "We have to straighten it out".

Trump has suggested that Russian Federation should return to the global group, saying at a news conference Saturday in La Baie, Quebec, Canada: "I think it would be an asset to have Russian Federation back in".

Following a formal welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, Putin first with Premier Li Keqiang, telling him that Russia-China trade and economic ties have "gained a good tempo, and we are looking for new spheres of cooperation".

Moscow was kicked out of the group, then the G-8, four years ago after it annexed Crimea.

Trump was reacting to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said Saturday that Canada would retaliate for Trump's proposed new tariffs. The U.S.is meeting with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom at the summit. The European Union also attends.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a telegram to Vladimir Putin in celebration of Russia Day. Addressing the summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose country has an observer status in the group, said that Iran would expect other participants in the nuclear deal to provide guarantees that they would honor the agreement. And French President Emmanuel Macron this week threatened to drop the United States from the group's final agreement altogether.

But EU President Donald Tusk also rejected the idea.

Relations have hit such a low point that a key question now is whether the seven countries can agree on a joint statement of priorities at the conclusion of the meeting.

Russian Federation has also increasingly turned to China as a market for its energy exports and a source of investment in infrastructure projects.

Earlier on Saturday, Trump told reporters it would be "very easy" to make the case for tariffs on auto imports using the rationale that they threaten national security.

Trump is telling reporters that he told world leaders that the US will take whatever steps necessary to prevent unfair foreign trade practices.

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"Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau, the host of the two-day summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, told reporters.

Trump says he will depart shortly for Singapore on a "mission of peace".

One source speaking on the condition of anonymity described the overall cordial tone with Trump as an attempt to lay a positive foundation for tougher discussions that would follow.

The new government in Rome has previously said that the sanctions on Russian Federation have severely damaged Italy's agriculture and tourism industries, well as its design and handicraft sectors, after Italy became the top country in Europe for Russia's monied oligarchs to spend money on luxury goods and vacation property during the years of Italy's convicted former prime minister, as well as Putin's close personal friend and an acquaintance of Trump's, Silvio Berlusconi. "In the interest of all". "It's a lucky number".

In early April, Kremlin aide Vladimir Ushakov said Trump had proposed a meeting with Putin during a telephone call.

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