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G7 summit in France 'last moment' to restore unity among world leaders: Tusk

The president of the European Council sounded an ominous warning for the G7 as leaders of the world's major democracies began arriving Saturday in the French seaside resort of Biarritz for their annual summit. Donald Tusk did not mince words about the state of discord among nations and whether there is enough political will to address the rise of authoritarian states, halt emerging trade wars and fight the disastrous effects of climate change.  "This may be the last moment to restore our political community," said Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland who has headed the European Council since 2014."This will be another G7 which will be a difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders."It is far from certain, he said, whether the 44-year-old international institution will be able to find common solutions or if the nations will "focus on senseless disputes amongst each other."Since last year's summit in Charlevoix, Que., it has become even more difficult for countries to find a common language.  WATCH: Donald Tusk addresses the G7 The European Council president offered an ominous warning about the need for world leaders to work together. 0:46Later on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In French remarks, Trudeau said the global economy and trade would be a big focus of their private meeting, as well as climate change. Johnson replied that he couldn't think of any big issues on which Canada and Britain disagree. "Canada and U.K. are side by side," he told reporters.However, this week Canada rebuked its cross-Atlantic neighbour for revoking the citizenship of Jack Letts, dubbed Jihadi Jack by British media after he left for Syria and is alleged to have joined ISIS. Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau meet at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. (Stefan Rousseau/Getty Images)Letts, who is currently in a Kurdish prison, also holds Canadian citizenship and has now expressed a desire to come to Canada.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the Britain was unilaterally trying to "offload their responsibilities" by revoking its citizenship. Many countries are facing a quandary of how to deal with their nationals picked up in ISIS territory.A federal source close to the discussions on Saturday said that Trudeau brought up the Letts issue with Johnson and reiterated Canada's displeasure.With Brexit at the top of their agendas, European leaders took advantage of a small window of time before the official start of the G7 summit to meet with Johnson.The European leaders met separately on Saturday afternoon, including Johnson, EU Council President Tusk, Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Emmanuel Macron and Italy's caretaker leader Guiseppe Conte.The issue of European countries ratifying the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) has been percolating around the summit. The French National Assembly ratified it last month, but it faces an uncertain vote in the country's senate this fall.Concern over CETA in FranceThe French senate is controlled by conservatives opposed to Macron and are widely expected to vote against, principally over objections to Canadian beef imports.Canada's ambassador to France, Isabelle Hudon, sad it's unclear which way it will go, but there is a part of France that is deeply skeptical about the trade deal and she sees it as her mission to people and companies better understand it."One thing I realized moving in France is that in Canada we are way much more comfortable doing trade, our companies are more comfortable doing international trade," she said. "There's a steep curve in France around trade issues and we're there to explain."Demonstrators use a part of ...Read more

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