Dominic Raab urges G7 to focus on Covid vaccines
Dominic Raab grilled by Ridge over lockdown restrictions review
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Three days of face-to-face talks will begin in a Covid-secure venue in London on Monday. Call our weather line where you can speak live with forecasts. Among those present will be US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his first European visit other than a Nato meeting in Brussels. While ministers from each G7 nation will meet with the Foreign Secretary over the next three days, Boris Johnson has already flexed his Indo-Pacific credentials by inviting India, Australia and South Korea. Yesterday it emerged the secretary general of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will also be present.
Raab’s meeting with Blinken will focus on issues including trade, Afghanistan, Iran and China, though general themes throughout the mini-summit will include establishing ambitious targets on climate change, promoting girls’ education, a coordinated approach to strengthening global health and new measures to prevent famine.
But the issue of China will inevitably stitch most topics together.
James Rogers, of the Council on Geostrategy think tank, said: “It’s good to see that Blinken is visiting the UK and actively participating in the Government’s G7 agenda – it will be a good opportunity to bring together a number of important countries and to coax those who are not necessarily on board, particularly those European members who are conflicted over China.
“It really puts paid to fears circulating before Biden became President that his administration would focus on the EU and cast Britain into the cold. After all, Biden has his Irish roots and Blinken, who grew up in Paris, famously accused Britain of self-harm over Brexit a few years ago.”
He added: “All the main subjects under discussion are connected by one thing: China. Even building back better is about levelling up and becoming less dependent on China.
“While the EU has shown its weakness over China, the UK has offered a carrier strike group, which is about to deploy, and is building deeper connections with India and Japan.”
Yesterday Dominic Raab said: “This week’s G7 meeting shows Global Britain bringing the world’s biggest democracies together to tackle shared challenges.”
The UK holds the presidency of the G7 this year and this week’s meetings will be seen as a precursor to the Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall in June.
In a separate development, the Foreign Secretary announced an £8million boost to the BBC World Service to help tackle disinformation.
He said: “In a world where states and criminal gangs twist the news to exploit others, it is vital to safeguard independent and objective news reporting around the world.”
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