Photo shared by Angela Merkel hints at tension at G7

Germany's Merkel backs restraint with Italy's populist govt

Germany's Merkel backs restraint with Italy's populist govt

It's been just three months since he was appointed President Trump's top security adviser, but John Bolton has already made an impact.

The Japanese leader has come under increased pressure to join retaliatory measures against America's steep tariffs.

The 28-member bloc - soon to lose the United Kingdom after the 2016 referendum to exit the European Union - managed to grapple with a financial meltdown and the biggest influx of refugees since World War II only with "great effort", Merkel said.

The MP from Japan's governing party once worked in the ministry of global trade and industry.

"Here we all agreed that a return of Russian Federation to the G7-format summits can't happen until substantial progress has been made in connection with the problems with Ukraine", she said.

Macron left his mark on Trump's hand after a firm handshake
Image:Emmanuel Macron left his mark on Donald Trump’s hand after a firm handshake

He engaged in a Twitter spat with President Trump over the tariffs hours before the summit - leading some to question whether the blossoming "bromance" between the two was over. "I would say the relationship is a 10", Trump said.

"The leaders of the G7 has not discussed climate change and trade, which are the most sensitive" she said.

Soon afterwards, Trump rejected in a series of angry tweets from Air Force One the text of a G7 consensus statement - traditionally a paean to shared Western values and objectives under American leadership. "The differences in opinion have not been taken off the table".

An official White House photograph from the summit shows Trump holding forth as Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan listen.

Some felt it was this power dynamic that Merkel's photo perfectly captured.

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