G7 Foreign Ministers Have Global Conflicts on Agenda

G7 Foreign Ministers Have Global Conflicts on AgendaG7 Foreign Ministers Have Global Conflicts on Agenda

A meeting of G7 foreign ministers in the German city of Lubeck got down to business yesterday focusing on world conflicts, Euronews reported.

Those taking part represent the world’s major industrialized nations including: France, Britain, Japan, Germany, Canada, Italy, and the US. The EU is also represented.

Although Russia is not there, Monday’s Berlin talks, over the Ukraine crisis (in which Russia participated), were described as a success with an agreement to push ahead with a withdrawal of heavy weapons.

G7 host nation Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier hopes for more progress in Lubeck: “We are confronted with countless armed conflicts, failing states, terrorist threats and human suffering. We need to join hands as governments and use the entire toolbox of political and diplomatic cooperation to solve these conflicts and work towards a more peaceful world.”

Other issues on the table include conflicts in Yemen, the Middle East, relations with Russia and Iran’s nuclear dispute.

  German City Braced for Protests

Foreign ministers from the G7 group of leading economies met in the German city of Lubeck amid intense security on Tuesday evening.

According to The Telegraph, more than 3,500 police officers have been deployed in the historic port amid fears of a repeat of violent protests which gripped Frankfurt last month.

Reports from the city described the streets as deserted and much of the center as sealed off, but demonstrations on Tuesday afternoon were much smaller than expected.

The foreign ministers are meeting ahead of a summit of G7 leaders in Bavaria in June.

The situation in Ukraine is expected to top the agenda, but Russia will not be represented, after being excluded from the then G8 over the annexation of Crimea.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, said on Tuesday that Russia’s return to the group depended on a resolution to the Ukraine crisis.

“I have absolutely no interest in a long-term isolation of Russia,” he said.

“I am convinced that we would improve the conditions for diplomacy if Russia returned to the G8.”

Mr. Steinmeier was expected to brief the meeting on the latest peace talks on Ukraine, which took place in Berlin on Monday.

Talks by the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France made little progress, and ended with yet another call for both sides to honor an agreed ceasefire.

There had been widespread fears of violence after Stop G7, an alliance of leftist groups, called for mass protests against the Lubeck meeting.

Similar demonstrations in Frankfurt against the opening of the European Central Bank headquarters last month brought the city to a standstill.

Cars were set alight, protestors fought running battles with police, and there were reports of attacks on firefighters.

The G7 meeting in Lubeck was scheduled to continue into Wednesday.