Meeting of G7 foreign ministers being held in London

Meeting of G7 foreign ministers being held in London
# 04 May 2021 13:45 (UTC +04:00)

Foreign ministers from the world's leading economies are meeting in London for their first face-to-face talks in more than two years, APA reports citing BBC.

The G7 are expected to discuss new ways for the group to defend international rules from external threats.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will lead discussions on the crisis in Myanmar, as well as relations with Russia, China and Iran.

He said it was a chance to tackle "shared challenges and rising threats".

The G7 group - the world's seven largest so-called advanced economies - is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa have also been invited as guests to the three-day summit, as the UK tries to deepen ties with the Indo-Pacific region.

Mr Raab, wearing a face mask, welcomed counterparts at Lancaster House in London, with forearm bumps replacing the usual handshakes.

The UK, which holds the rotating presidency of the G7, will host a summit of leaders in Cornwall next month.

On Monday, Mr Raab met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is making his first visit to London since being appointed by US President Joe Biden.

At a joint UK-US press conference following the talks, the UK foreign secretary said there was a shift towards "likeminded countries" working more closely together in the face of hostile states like Russia and China.

He said London and Washington stood "shoulder to shoulder" on issues such as these, while Mr Blinken said the US had "no closer ally, no closer partner" than the UK.

The summit comes amid criticism over the UK's decision to cut overseas aid spending from 0.7% of national income to 0.5% - a reduction of more than £4bn.

Asked about the aid cuts, Mr Raab said it had been a "difficult decision" but that the UK still had scope "to be an even greater force for good in the world".

Talks between the G7 will be held throughout the day on Tuesday, while the foreign ministers will attend a dinner with the guest nations in the evening.