Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
US top diplomat Antony Blinken on Tuesday vowed support to help rebuild the battered Gaza Strip and shore up a truce between Hamas and Israel, but insisted the territory's Islamist militant rulers would not benefit from any aid..

business

Blinken in UK as G7 foreign ministers resume in-person talks

BRITAIN, UK May 3 – Britain this week hosts the first face-to-face meeting of G7 foreign ministers in two years, joined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as world powers tackle pandemic recovery plus growing tensions with Russia and China.

The Covid-secure gathering in London will prepare the ground for a G7 summit in southwest England next month, which will mark Joe Biden’s inaugural visit to Europe as US president. Both events will also be joined by Indian leaders.

Many of the G7 nations have rallied to India’s aid as the world’s most populous democracy confronts a terrifying surge of coronavirus cases, although the pandemic is ebbing elsewhere in the West thanks to mass vaccination drives.

After its Brexit withdrawal from the European Union, Britain is reorienting its foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region, and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will also play host this week to ministers from Australia, South Korea and the ASEAN bloc.

In the face of Russian “lies and propaganda” over Ukraine and other fronts, Raab said he wants the G7 “to come together with a rapid rebuttal mechanism” against disinformation.

Blinken is en route to Ukraine this week pledging “unwavering” US support after Russian troops had massed on its border.

In bilateral talks Monday before the G7 ministers sit down to a working dinner, Raab and Blinken will discuss Afghanistan, China, Iran and trade, according to the British Foreign Office.

Like Russia, China also stands accused by Western intelligence of unleashing trolls on social media, and of using foreign-language arms of its state media to channel an aggressive line on issues such as the plight of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

On China, the US expects the G7 “to discuss how we can work closely with our allies and partners to address our collective challenges from a position of strength”, senior State Department official Erica Barks-Ruggles told reporters.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

– Anger over aid cuts –

More generally, Raab said, “we’ll be taking action to ensure fair access to vaccines around the world, setting global girls’ education targets, agreeing ambitious action on climate change and developing new measures to prevent famine”.

However, Britain is facing an outcry from campaigners after slashing its aid budget, with United Nations agencies including the children’s arm UNICEF warning of a devastating impact for millions of people around the world.

But like others in the G7, Britain says it must cope with budget pressures brought on by enormous spending to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, even as the group promises funding towards equitable vaccine access for poorer countries.

The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the EU. In addition to the Asia-Pacific guests, South Africa will attend this week and June’s summit.

The last in-person meeting of foreign ministers from the world’s leading economic powers took place in the seaside resort of Dinard, northwest France, in April 2019.

When the G7 ministers reconvene for formal talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, they will have an on-site testing facility and Perspex screens to separate them in meetings, and Britain has enforced limits on the size of each delegation.

“The meetings will be a demonstration of how to conduct diplomatic business safely and successfully as we recover from the pandemic,” the Foreign Office said.

Britain is also gearing up to host the UN’s next climate change summit, COP 26, in Glasgow in November.

“The pandemic and the climate crisis are the latest reminders that we are bound together in a global community,” Barks-Ruggles said, after Biden restored the United States to global climate talks on replacing former president Donald Trump.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Our history of shared values with our G7 partners will be a firm base as we work to meet these global challenges,” the US official added.

Comments
Advertisement

More on Capital News

EDUCATION

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – Form Four students across Kenya have begun selecting the courses they wish to pursue in universities and colleges next...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – A magistrate court has dismissed the divorce case which was filed by Aldai Member of Parliament Maryanne Kitany against...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – The Mount Kenya region has reaped big in President William Ruto’s administration after he nominated seven Cabinet Secretaries out...

World

In Danang, Vietnam's third-largest city, high-rise buildings shook as the typhoon made landfall in the early hours of Wednesday, bringing winds of up to...

Africa

Little is known about its history, but the wazza "has strong links to rituals performed by the communities of the Blue Nile", explained Mohammed...

World

Consolacion del Sur (Cuba) (AFP), Sep 26 – Powerful Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction and caused a widespread blackout in Cuba on...

World

Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP), Sep 27 – Kremlin-installed authorities in four Ukrainian regions under Russian control claimed victory Tuesday in annexation votes, drawing global outrage,...

World

Paris (AFP), Sep 24 – Iranians staged a 12th straight night of women-led protests on Tuesday over the death of Mahsa Amini, despite fears...