BIARRITZ (FRANCE): French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday hosted his US counterpart Donald Trump for an unscheduled lunch ahead of the official opening of the G7 summit in southwest France to ease tensions over trade and build consensus against climate change crisis including building pressure on the Brazilian President to douse Amazon fires.

Macron and Trump sat on a terrace at the ornate Hotel du Palais in the popular Atlantic resort of Biarritz, a day after Trump reiterated his threat of tariffs against French wine in retaliation for a new tax on major US tech companies.

Speaking to media, Macron described Trump “a very special guest”. “We actually have a lot in common,” Trump said across the table to Macron, adding that they had “been friends for a long time”.

Trump said that at times they “go at each other a little bit” but had a “special relationship”.

Macron desires that the heads of Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to focus on democracy, gender equality, education and the environment, and has invited Asian, African and Latin American leaders including PM Narendra Modi to join them as invitees for different sessions.

The summit is being held amid a trade war between China and the United States, European governments struggling to defuse tensions between Washington and Tehran, and global condemnation over fires engulfing Amazon rainforest.

EU leaders on Friday increased pressure on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

Macron said Bolsonaro had lied in playing down concerns about climate change at a G20 summit in Japan in June, and threatened to veto a trade pact between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries.

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“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rainforest – the lungs which produce 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire,” tweeted Macron in the run-up to the summit.

Meanwhile new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will want to strike a balance between not alienating Britain’s European allies as well as keep Trump satisfied.



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