Trump now wants India to join G7 -- here's what he said about the group and next summit
Calling the G7 a "very outdated group of countries" in its current format, the US President has postponed the summit till September.
US President Donald Trump has postponed a Group of Seven (G7) summit he had planned to hold next month until September or later and sought to expand the list of invitees to include India and some other countries to the grouping of world's top economies.
Trump told reporters, travelling with him on board the Air Force One from Florida to Washington DC, that he is "postponing it until September" and plans to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India. He said that the G7 was a "very outdated group of countries" in its current format.
"I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries. I'm postponing it because I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world," Trump said.
It was unclear whether Trump's desire to invite the additional countries was an effort to permanently expand the G7. On several previous occasions, he suggested Russia be added given what he described as Moscow's global strategic importance.
White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Alexandra Farah said Trump wants the countries to discuss China at the summit.
Trump has attacked Beijing over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China, and on Friday he ordered his administration to begin the process of ending special US treatment for Hong Kong in retaliation for China's decision to impose a new security law on the former British colony.
The decision to postpone the G7 summit is a retreat for Trump, who had sought to host the group of major industrialized countries in Washington as a demonstration that the United States was returning to normal after the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 103,000 Americans to date.
Trump had cancelled an in-person G7 meeting that was scheduled for March as the virus spread, but had recently sought to revive it.
French President Emmanuel Macron backed the idea of an in-person meeting, according to the White House, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to endorse it, saying there were too many health-related questions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this week she could not attend.
The G7 is a forum of the seven countries with the world's largest and most advanced economies — France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The European Union also attends. Heads of States of these countries meet annually on international economic and monetary issues.
The US holds the presidency of the G7 this year. During the summit, G7 president normally invites heads of States of one or two countries to attend the meeting as a special invitee.
Last year, Macron had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the G7 Summit.