U.S. President Donald Trump announced Saturday he is postponing the G7 summit until September and plans to invite four additional non-member nations including Russia.
The president, speaking to reporters aboard an Air Force One flight back to Washington from Kennedy Space Center, said he plans to expand the annual meeting of the world’s most economically advanced nations to include Australia, India, Russia and South Korea, according to a pool report.
“I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world,” Trump said. “It’s a very outdated group of countries.”
The group included Russia until its membership was suspended in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday declined Trump’s invitation to attend a Washington summit rescheduled for June, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, POLITICO reported.
The meeting was supposed to take place via videoconference after Trump in March scrapped a planned in-person summit at Camp David due to the pandemic.
Trump, however, had indicated he wanted to hold portions of the June gathering in person at the White House and Camp David.
Earlier Saturday, Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss progress on convening the group, according to a White House readout.