Blinken to participate in G-7 foreign minister meeting in London next month

Antony Blinken at NATO meeting
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The U.S. is invited to attend an in-person meeting with the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7) countries in London next month, the first such meeting in two years. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to take part, although the State Department did not confirm if the secretary will attend virtually or in person. 

The announcement was made by the British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab during a meeting of Parliament.

The G-7 summit will focus on ensuring equitable access to vaccines, reviving the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting education for girls in developing countries and tackling climate change.

Blinken said in a speech Tuesday on climate change that he would emphasize to G-7 diplomats next month the imperative of each country working to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the effects of a warming planet.

“We will convey a strong message to the meeting of the G-7 next month, whose members produce a quarter of the world’s emissions,” Blinken said in his speech. 

The in-person meeting comes as world leaders increasingly restart face-to-face diplomacy alongside increased vaccination distribution. The announcement by the United Kingdom said that organizers will put strict COVID-19 measures in place, including daily testing, and that attendees will be subject to local social distancing guidelines. 

The meeting will include the foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S. and U.K., plus the European Union. 

The U.K. has also invited as guests foreign ministers from India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa and the chair and secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 

Leaders of the G-7 countries last met virtually in February, the first meeting of the group President Biden attended since assuming office. That meeting focused on stronger, cooperative defense against the next pandemic and combating climate change, among other issues. 

Biden has made engagement with international organizations and allies a priority of his foreign policy. 

Since Biden took office, the U.S. has participated in joint statements with G-7 nations on a host of crises around the world, including Russia’s treatment of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Moscow’s buildup of troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, human rights atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the military coup in Myanmar and China’s legislative moves against Hong Kong. 

Tags Antony Blinken Climate change Coronavirus COVID-19 G7 Joe Biden

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