Trump delays decision on Paris climate accord

Leaders of the G7 group of nations, which includes the Unted States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy, as well as the European Union, are meeting at Taormina from May 26-27.

In an April meeting between the two leaders at the White House, Trump and Gentiloni appeared to differ on what the US role in Libya should be. Like many other agreements signed under the administration of former US President Barack Obama, Trump has vowed that he would revise Washington's commitments under the deals to ensure US interests are protected.

"The whole discussion on the topic of climate was very hard, not to say very unsatisfactory", she told reporters, labelling the G7 deadlock as "six against one". "Paris has important meaning to numerous European leaders", said Cohn.

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.

During his election campaign, Trump threatened unilateral tariffs on Mexican and Chinese goods and said he would quit the North American Free Trade agreement unless it was renegotiated to his liking.

"Understanding this process, the (other participants) reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement".

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President Donald Trump said Saturday he would make a decision on the Paris Agreement on climate change "next week" following months of intense speculation and lobbying on both sides of the issue.

Earlier, in an off-camera briefing for reporters, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said of the climate discussions, "We're all trying to get to the right place, respectful of each other".

But discussions on that subject also hit stalemate because of differences with the United States at what EU President Donald Tusk called "the most challenging G7 summit in years". Only five of NATO's 28 members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined. Cohn stressed Friday that the president was simply being critical of the USA trade imbalance with Germany. He also tweeted that he would be making his decision next week.

Germany's trade surplus with the United States is part of its large overall surplus with the rest of the world.

Trump has held no news conferences during the nine-day trip, allowing him to avoid questions about the Russian Federation investigations.

The delay from the U.S.is being seen as an area for concern for advocates of global action to confront climate change.

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Trump tweeted Saturday, "Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should".

Donald Trump is now on his way back to America, ending a marathon nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe - his first foreign trip since taking office.

With Italy, which has felt the brunt of the EU's migration crisis in recent years, holding the G7 presidency, the leaders' declaration included an expanded section on "human mobility".

Clearly, for Trump now to violate a major campaign promise and stick with the Paris agreement would be a huge mistake. The summit's communique noted that the Trump administration would take more time to consider whether it will remain committed to the 2015 Paris deal to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

Several thousand people are expected to march through Giardini Naxos, the seaside town bordering Taormina, the hill top venue of the G7.

The G-7 members were still wrestling over a statement on trade and whether it would condemn protectionism, as previous group statements have.

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