Iran’s FM makes surprise appearance as world leaders gather at G-7

World Today

FRANCE-G7-SUMMITG7 leaders and guests pose for a family picture with the Biarritz lighthouse in the background on the second day of the annual G7 summit in Biarritz, south-west France on August 25, 2019. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP)

A day of meetings and a surprise visit in France. World leaders gathered in Biarritz for the G-7 summit. On the agenda: conversations about trade, Brexit and the environment. Not on the agenda: an unexpected visit from Iran’s Foreign Minister.

CGTN’s Stefan de Vries is in France to cover the summit.

It was a busy second day in Biarritz for the leaders of the G-7 Nations.

Early in the morning, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Trump had talks about a future trade agreement between the two countries after Brexit.

“We’re going to do a fantastic deal, once we clear up some of the obstacles in our path,” said Johnson.

“We’re talking about many different deals but we’re having a good time,” said Trump. “As far as U.K. and United States, we’re working on a very big trade deal and I think it’s going to work out very well.”

Later on Sunday, a surprise guest arrival at the summit. Host country France invited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif to discuss plans and ease tensions over its nuclear program.

French officials describe their talks as “positive,” and also said that future discussions would include Germany and Britain.

Meantime, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an agreement in principle on a trade deal covering agriculture, technology and other issues.

“We’ve been working on a deal with Japan for a long time. It involves agricultural and it involves e-commerce and many other things,” said Trump. “It’s a very big transaction and we’ve agreed in principle. It’s billions and billions of dollars, tremendous for the farmers.”

Despite major issues, there were low expectations for leaders to make substantive progress.

So far, host Emmanuel Macron has made sure everything would be done to help Brazil with the Amazon rainforest fires and that the tensions with Iran will not escalate any further for now.

Government leaders, mainly from Africa, also joined the meetings. On Monday, talks on climate change will be on the agenda with a session on the environment and biodiversity.