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Live Updates: G7 Summit Held in Biarritz, France as US-China Trade War Escalates

The annual G7 summit started on Saturday, with seven heads of state gathering in Biarritz to discuss important international economic and financial issues.

The G7 summit is scheduled to take place in Biarritz, a French resort city, from 24-26 August and bring together the European Union and representatives of the world's seven largest economies, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

While the official theme of this year’s summit is the fight against inequality and the advancement of universal access to social welfare, the meeting takes places amid a new escalation in the US-China trade war. On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the US would increase tariffs by another five percent on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods that are already being taxed in response to Beijing's latest retaliatory measures.

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French President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart Donald Trump have found "major points of convergence" on subjects including trade, Iran's nuclear programme and the wildfires consuming large parts of the Amazon, a French presidency official said Saturday.

The two leaders had an unscheduled two-hour lunch before the opening of the G7 summit in Biarritz, and Macron "created the conditions for a good degree of convergence within the (G7) group, after obtaining clarifications from Donald Trump" on key issues, the official said.

Their talks covered areas of both "agreement and disagreement," the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

17:32 GMT 24.08.2019

Kostas Gouliamos, Rector of the European University Cyprus and Honorary Professor of Lanzhou City University, China:

"Despite the fact that the aim of the summit is to formulate global responses to challenges affecting countries worldwide, it is doubtful that the leaders are ready for a constructive consensus. The disagreement between France and USA (followed by UK, Japan and Italy) on the Amazon wildfires consists a sound evidence. It is really oxymoron for USA and its following countries to produce myopic approaches and infantile excuses in their political effort to underestimate the seriousness of this international crisis as the Amazon rainforest produces the 20% of the world’s oxygen. 

Nevertheless, more disagreements are expected on the ongoing trade war that USA declared to China. As a result lots of nation-states and their existing trade agreements are subject to revision. 

Moreover, the leaders will discuss global policy issues of high relevance on political agendas. For instance, there is an intention to accommodate the participation of major democracies with major regional influence, countries from Africa and civil society. The scope of such a major step or vision is to form synergies in projects and produce solutions to combat all types of inequality more effectively, legitimately and tangibly."

17:17 GMT 24.08.2019

French police used water cannons to disperse protestors blocking roads near the G7 summit in France.

A few hundred people, many of whom have covered their faces with masks and scarves, have been marching though the city, screaming anti-police slogans. The march is occurring in the part of the city surrounded by rivers from both sided, with bridges blocked by the police.

At one of the bridges, protesters began provoking the police, who hosed them four times in response and then fired teargas at the crowd.

The procession is currently repeating its previous route.

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"We must succeed in reaching a de-escalation, stabilise things and avoid this trade war which is already taking place everywhere," Macron said.

"We must find new ways to launch real stimulus, stimulate growth," he added.

10:22 GMT 24.08.2019
10:12 GMT 24.08.2019

According to European Council's President Donald Tusk, the current G7 summit will be "a difficult test of unity and solidarity" after a year during which leaders of the member-states have found it hard to find a common language.

09:43 GMT 24.08.2019

Leaders of the G7 members-states are arriving at the airport of Biarritz for the first days of the group's summit. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the first leader to arrive for the summit.

09:40 GMT 24.08.2019
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