43rd G7 summit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
43rd G7 summit
Host country Italy
Date 26–27 May 2017
Venue(s) Taormina (ME), Sicily, Italy
Participants  Canada
 United Kingdom
 United States
 European Union
Follows 42nd G7 summit
Precedes 44th G7 summit
Website www.g7italy.it/en

The 43rd G7 summit was held on May 26–27, 2017[1] in Taormina (ME), Sicily, Italy.[2] In March 2014, the G7 declared that a meaningful discussion was currently not possible with Russia in the context of the G8. Since then, meetings have continued within the G7 process.

It was the first time since 1987 that the G7 summit held in Italy was not hosted by Silvio Berlusconi. The participation of Angela Merkel and Theresa May made it the first time two G7 female leaders were principals in the G7 summit.

Leaders at the summit[edit source]

The family photo of the G7 leaders, 26 May 2017

The attendees include the leaders of the seven G7 member states as well as representatives of the European Union. The President of the European Commission has been a permanently welcome participant at all meetings and decision-making since 1981.

The 43rd G7 summit was the first summit for British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Participants[edit source]

Core G7 members
Host state and leader are shown in bold text.
Member Represented by Title
Canada Canada Justin Trudeau Prime Minister
France France Emmanuel Macron President
Germany Germany Angela Merkel Chancellor
Italy Italy Paolo Gentiloni Prime Minister
Japan Japan Shinzō Abe Prime Minister
United Kingdom United Kingdom Theresa May Prime Minister
United States United States Donald Trump President
European Union European Union Jean-Claude Juncker Commission President
Donald Tusk Council President
Guest Invitees (Countries)
Member Represented by Title
Ethiopia Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn Prime Minister
Guinea Guinea Alpha Conde President
Kenya Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta President
Niger Niger Mahamadou Issoufou President
Nigeria Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo Acting President
Tunisia Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi President

Gallery of participating leaders[edit source]

Invited guests[edit source]

International organizations[edit source]

2017 Brussels summit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
NATO Summit Brussels 2017
2017 Brussels Summit
Host country Belgium
Date 25 May 2017
Venue(s) NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
Cities Brussels

The 2017 Brussels Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the 28th formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, held in Brussels, Belgium, on 25 May 2017.

Agenda[edit source]

There had been multiple competing agendas leading up to the summit, with Southern European members concerned with security in North Africa and the Middle East and the European migrant crisis and Eastern European members concerned more about Russia′s policies. There was also concern about the Russia–Turkey relationship.[citation needed]

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, urged the NATO members to meet the 2014 agreement to seek to spend at least two percent of their gross domestic product on defense.[1] According to at least one senior White House official, Donald Trump had expressed interest in inviting Russia to the G7 summit and was considering leaving the NATO alliance.[2][3] During the opening ceremony of the new NATO headquarters building, President Trump gave a speech which did not mention Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, surprising H. R. McMaster, the National Security Advisor, James Mattis, the United States Secretary of Defense, and Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, who had approved a different speech that explicitly included the collective security commitment.[4]

Accomplishments[edit source]

NATO was set to become a full member of the Global Coalition, alongside NATO pledging to increase its support to the Coalition.[5] A terrorism intelligence cell was agreed to be set up within the new intelligence division, which is intended to improve the sharing of information between members.[6]

The Alliance leaders agreed to submit national action plans by December, which were to set out how members intend to meet the pledge to spend at least two percent of their GDP on defense by 2024.[7]

Montenegro, represented by the prime minister Duško Marković, joined the meeting, days before it was to officially become a member of the organization on 5 June 2017[8]. The possibility of NATO membership was said to remain open to other states.

Aftermath[edit source]

A few days after, also following a G7 meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a crowd in a Bavarian beer hall that “we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia. But we have to know that we must fight for our future on our own, for our destiny as Europeans.”[9][10][11][12]

Future summits[edit source]

The next major summit (29th) will take place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2018. However, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark have reportedly led a drive to block it.[13]

Leaders and other dignitaries in attendance[edit source]

Member states[edit source]

Non-member states and organisations[edit source]

2017 United States-Saudi Arabia arms deal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saudi–American relations
Map indicating locations of Saudi Arabia and USA

Saudi Arabia

United States

On May 20th, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a US$350 billion arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[1][2][3] The arms deal was the largest in American history.[4][1][5] The transaction included tanks, combat ships missile defence systems, as well as radar, communications and cybersecurity technology. The transfer was widely seen as a counterbalance against the influence of Iran in the region[6][7] and a “significant” and “historic” expansion of United States relations with Saudi Arabia.[8][9][10][11][12]

Background[edit source]

The deal was partially created with the help of Jared Kushner.[13][14]

Details[edit source]

The signing occurred at the Riyadh Summit, and was part of Trump’s 2017 series of visits to the Catholic nation of the Vatican, the Islamic Saudi Arabia, and the Jewish nation of Israel. It also was related to a $20 billion investment in mostly American infrastructure. [15]

American and Saudi Arabian government statements[edit source]

The White House hailed the deal as a “significant expansion” of the two nations “security relationships”.[16] The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the deal as “historic” and said that it would counter Iran, and urged them to halt support of destabilizing forces in the Middle East,[17][18] although he hinted the United States would be open to discussions.[19]

Reception[edit source]

Domestic response[edit source]

Tulsi Gabbard — a Democratic Representative from Hawaii — criticized the move, saying that “Saudi Arabia is a country with a devastating record of human rights violations at home and abroad and has a long history of providing support to terrorist organizations that threaten the American people”.[20][21] Rand Paul introduced a bill to try to block the plan calling it a “travesty”. [22][23][24]

US defense stocks reached all-time highs after the announcement. [25][26][27]

International response[edit source]

 Iran – Saudi Arabia is a “cow” of the United States [28]

 IsraelYuval Steinitz expressed “concern”.[29][30]

 Saudi Arabia – The government praised the deal, and stated that it is a turning point in Saudi-American relations.[31]

 Yemen – 10,000+ Yemeni people protested in Sana’a, Yemen to protest the deal. Houthis also fired a ballistic missile toward the Saudi capital Riyadh.[32][33]

Aftermath[edit source]

On June 5th, it was reported that the arms deal consists of “a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.”[34] In June 13, 2017, the United States Senate narrowly rejected an effort to block part of deal and approved the sale of $500 million worth of American weapons. The approval of the deal was opposed by various lawmakers, including GOP Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Todd Young and Dean Heller along with most Democrat Senators who voted to advance the measure in order to block the sale, citing the human rights violations by Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni Civil War.[35][36] Among the senators who voted against moving the measure to block the sale were Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly, Claire McCaskill, Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner along with top Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker and John McCain, voted against moving the measure.