DINARD, France — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven sophisticated economies have been wrapping up a two-day meeting in the French seaside resort of Dinard on Saturday exactly where they hope to seal joint commitments on a variety of worldwide challenges and lay the groundwork for August’s G-7 summit in Biarritz.
Diplomats from G-7 nations, which consists of the U.S., France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and the U.K., have been operating on a joint statement on the fight against trafficking drugs, arms and migrants in Africa’s troubled Sahel area, fighting cybercrime and stopping sexual violence against girls in conflict zones, in particular in Africa.
But U.S. officials mentioned that points of discord will also be discussed. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan mentioned that Washington will use the G-7 forum to galvanize assistance in recognizing American-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Guaido has embarked on an international campaign to topple the socialist administration of Venezuela’s president amid deepening unrest in the nation, which has been plagued by practically a month of energy outages.
Washington appears to be at odds with Italy more than its stance on the crisis-hit South American nation as it is the sole G-7 state to not back Guaido.
The U.S. and Canada have pursued a pro-active stance on widening assistance for Guaido, according to French officials. But there has been widespread alarm just after Guaido was stripped of immunity by loyalists of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this week.
“With Juan Guaido getting stripped of his immunity … we do not want the circumstance to escalate,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas mentioned in Dinard on Saturday.
“We are nonetheless of the opinion that cost-free elections should really take location throughout which Venezuelans can determine themselves who will lead the nation,” he added.
Italy has also irked EU and U.S. allies by becoming the initially G-7 member to sign up to a contentious Chinese program to create a Silk Road-style worldwide trade network, the trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.