Wednesday, 30 November, 2022
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Support for Ukraine to dominate G7 meeting in Germany

MÜNSTER: The G7 group of wealthy nations were on Thursday expected to affirm their support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia at a meeting in western Germany, with China and Iran also on the agenda, reports AFP.

A senior US state department official told reporters the gathering of G7 foreign ministers was a vital coordinating mechanism being held at an important time as the world faces multiple crises from Ukraine to North Korea.

The two-day meeting in the western city of Muenster comes as Germany prepares to hand over the G7 presidency to Japan and in the wake of political upheaval in several member countries, including Italy and Britain.

Another US diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was an opportunity to make sure everyone was on the same page. Diplomatic sources said the ministers would focus on ways in which we can support Ukraine, including financial and military aid.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was set to address the conference via a video link on Thursday, another diplomatic source said.

Recent unrest in Iran and the energy crisis in Europe as winter approaches are also expected to be on the agenda.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in Muenster on Wednesday evening, will hold bilateral talks on Thursday with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

The two ministers will then take part in a forum on the future of democracy in a digital age.

Relations with China will be discussed at a working dinner on Thursday, just as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz jets off for a controversial visit to Beijing.

Scholz insisted on Wednesday that he would not ignore controversies during his trip.

A senior US diplomat told reporters on Wednesday that what we've seen over the last couple of years is increasing alignment between us and Europe on the challenges posed by China.

But Scholz's planned visit has nevertheless been met with scepticism from Washington.