Angela Merkel “cannot confirm” the presence of the G7 in the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at a news conference in Berlin on April 23.

“The chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit in Washington in late June,” Merkel’s spokesman said in a statement.

“To date, given the general pandemic situation, he cannot confirm his personal participation, or a trip to Washington,” added the spokesman.

Meanwhile, German health minister Jens Spahn has expressed his “disappointment” over the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization, stating that the Trump administration’s decision was a “setback” for international health policy.

Other world leaders have also been cautious about Trump’s proposed G7 summit.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that he could not yet commit to attend the proposed G7 meeting in person because of concerns about the transmission of the virus and Canada’s quarantine rules.

“There are important health concerns around us to keep it in person, but there is no doubt that meeting in person in an ideal situation is much more effective than virtual meetings,” he said.

“However, there are many questions to answer before we can commit to introducing ourselves in person and those discussions take place continuously and very constructively.”

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Trump on Thursday. The two leaders “agreed on the importance of calling the G7 in person in the near future,” according to a White House statement on the call. But the White House did not say whether Macron had pledged to participate in person.

Trump initially questioned the idea of ​​reviving the summit as an in-person event Tweet on May 20, indicating that it would signal the world that things are returning to normal after the coronavirus pandemic stopped the trip and froze the global economy.

“It seems that the G7 could be active because we have done well, we are ahead of the times in terms of our country and some of the other countries are doing very well,” he said on the South Lawn the following day. “It looks like the G7 will be turned on, a full G7, and we will announce something early next week.”

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Instead of Camp David, Trump suggested that “probably” would occur in the White House “, but perhaps a small combination in Camp David, but mainly in the White House.”

US national security adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters that he was on the phone with a “number” of his counterparts in Europe and that “everyone wants to come to Washington”.

“I can tell you that countries around the world are trying to open up,” said O’Brien. “All the leaders can’t wait to come to the White House if we can make it work.”

The G7 includes the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Japan. Trump thought he would allow Russia to rejoin the group, but encountered stiff resistance from other leaders.

Paula Newton, Kevin Liptak and Nikki Carvajal of CNN contributed to this report.

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