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Beauty of Taormina having 'positive' impact on G7 talks says Gentiloni

POLITICS
Beauty of Taormina having 'positive' impact on G7 talks says Gentiloni

Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The sheer beauty of the Sicilian coastal resort of Taormina is exerting a positive influence on talks between leaders of the world's wealthiest nations at the G7 summit, Italy's premier Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.

"The beauty of Taormina....seems to me to have had a positive effect on the (G7) leaders," Gentiloni told journalists at the end of a summit session.

"Italy is satisfied with what is certainly a free and open discussion that is narrowing differences and having very positive results, "Gentiloni went on.

US and European officials warned that the talks on Friday and Saturday between United States president Donald Trump and the other G7 leaders would be tough, particularly on climate, trade and security.

The G7 leaders signed a joint declaration on Friday on fighting terrorism and extremism which called for Internet companies to "substantially increase" efforts against online terrorist propaganda.

At the end of Friday's talks, Gentiloni said the atmosphere had been "very direct and sincere".

"This is translating into points of convergence on the major issues of the day: the crisis in Syria, Libya and North Korea," he said.

Gentiloni said leaders were edging towards a common position on trade but were "still working" on the content of a final declaration.

"It seems that today's straightforward discussions have highlighted common points of views on which we can work," Gentiloni said.

On climate policy, Gentiloni said "the issue is on hold" as Trump has still not decided whether to pull the US out of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which all other G7 members support,

The G7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, and the EU also has representatives. Russia was expelled from the group in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Trump urged better ties with Moscow during his election campaign but his presidency has been clouded by investigations into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials.

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