The foreign ministers of the group of seven industrialized countries began a three-day meeting in London on Monday, focusing on ways to achieve an independent and open Indo-Pacific and to curb the coronavirus epidemic.
Britain, which holds the rotating G-7 presidency this year, is trying to strengthen ties with countries outside the European Union following its global UK initiative, which is now a 27-nation bloc.
This marks the meeting of the GV-7 – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, and the European Union’s first in-person foreign minister due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Representatives from Australia, India, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will attend parts of the meeting as a reflection of the growing presence of the Indo-Pacific as an engine for global development.
The move comes after the UK announced a “tilt” into the region for its new diplomatic strategy released in March.
When applying for membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional free trade agreement, the UK will send aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth and its strike group to Indo-Pacific this year, as China increases its assertiveness and military buildup in the region.
On China, a senior State Department official said that the United States expects the G-7 to “work together with our allies and partners to overcome our collective challenges from positions of strength.” “
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his comrades from the G-7 and guest countries are also expected to discuss measures to promote human rights and deal with other issues such as nuclear and missile development by North Korea and Iran, as well as Russia. Sovereignty and territorial integrity to undermine Ukraine’s efforts by.
Ensuring appropriate access rights for the coronavirus vaccine and agreeing on ambition action to address climate change are also likely to be on the agenda.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Rae said, “The G-7 meeting brings together the world’s largest democracies to meet global Britain’s shared challenges.”
The London meeting will lay the foundation stone for the G-7 in-person summit for June in Cornwall, south-west England, with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihida Suga and US President Joe Biden, who took office in January.
In a teleconference in February, G-7 leaders vowed to give 2021 a turning point to promote multilateralism, contrary to Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” approach.