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Abe seeks to bridge gap between U.S., Europe

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Pool Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Biarritz, France, on Saturday

The Yomiuri ShimbunBIARRITZ, France — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Biarritz, France, on Saturday for the Group of Seven nations summit meeting that kicked off in the evening on the day.

Attending a G7 summit for the eighth time, Abe hopes to bridge the gap between the United States and Europe, which are at odds with each other over such key issues as trade, the Iranian situation and climate change.

After arriving in Biarritz, Abe met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the afternoon, prior to the opening of the summit.

At the meeting, it is understood that the two leaders were to reaffirm cooperation in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific initiative and continuation of the free trade system. The two leaders were also thought to have discussed the possibility of reaching a compromise between the United States and Europe at the summit.

The two countries’ cooperation on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs as well as the tense situation in Iran were also thought to be reaffirmed.

After meeting Merkel, Abe met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

G7 leaders are unlikely to issue a traditional joint declaration at the end of the summit, as the United States and European countries stand far apart.

How far Abe, who has a personal relationship of trust with U.S. President Donald Trump, can lead mediation at the summit will be a point of focus.Speech

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