Other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to sway the president at his first major worldwide summit.
Crowds lined the route as Donald Trump and the other six G-7 leaders made their way from Taormina’s famed ancient Greek theater, where they took the traditional G-7 photo, to the five-star San Domenico Palace, where meetings were taking place The leaders made a brief stop along the way to take in a breathtaking view of the sea.
European Union diplomats also looked to put a positive spin on Trump’s refusal to back the landmark Paris climate accord, saying he had listened hard to their arguments.
Unlike other G7 leaders, he is not due to give a press conference before flying out. Cohn and other administration officials have said Trump will wait until after the summit to decide.
Climate policy promises to be the real buzzkill at the G7 party.
Down to the final day of his lengthy first global trip, President Donald Trump will lift off for Washington having rattled some allies and reassured others, returning to a White House that sits under a cloud of scandal. “That was a big topic where numerous European leaders talked about these global agreements … without the United States it’s sort of missing a big gap when you take the biggest economy out”.
“He digested that. That was a meaningful moment to him”, Cohn stated.
He also deplored German trade policies at a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, saying Germany’s export prowess was “bad”, EU and USA officials confirmed on Friday. “We will have a very robust discussion on trade”.
He will not be the only G7 newcomer.
Newly elected leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron, President Trump and veterans like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe will discuss ways to change the shape of global events.
The meeting comes days after children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester.
Several security issues are expected to be part of the G7 discussions, with the conflicts in Syria and Libya topping the agenda.
The leaders are expected to issue a final communique on Saturday.
While the summit in Japan a year ago produced a 32-page agreement, the official said the text to be released Saturday will be much shorter and strategic.
Italy chose to stage the summit in Sicily to draw attention to Africa, which is 140 miles (225 km) from the island at its closest point across the Mediterranean.
More than half a million have landed in Italy since 2014, with 1,400 brought ashore by rescuers on Friday alone.
Italy is keen to encourage the world’s wealthiest nations to support African countries in developing their economies, so fewer young people will feel forced to make the risky journey to Europe.
One country that won’t be present is Russian Federation. The EU and USA under Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Moscow over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russia rebels.
– The Washington Post and NBC news reported the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a “focus” in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.
Officials acknowledge the summit is effectively about damage limitation against a backdrop of fears among USA partners that the Trump presidency, with its America First rhetoric, could undermine the architecture of the post-World War II world.