Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit Monday, Trump said he believed China wanted to make a trade deal and he also backed away from a confrontation over Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade and opened the door to diplomacy on Iran, easing tension on the last day of a strained G7 summit.
Trump and his Western allies appear to have agreed amicably to disagree on issues dividing them which ranged from Washington’s escalating trade war with China, which many fear could tip the slowing world economy into recession; how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea; and the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the group.
The trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, escalated Friday as both sides leveled more tariffs on each other’s exports, sending more shockwaves through financial markets.
Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit Monday, Trump said he believed China wanted to make a trade deal after it contacted U.S. trade officials overnight to say it wanted to return to the negotiating table.
China’s lead negotiator in the U.S. trade talks said earlier Monday Beijing was willing to resolve its trade dispute with the United States through “calm negotiations” and resolutely opposed the escalation of the conflict.
Trump also backed away from a confrontation over Iran Monday, a day after French President Emmanuel Macron invited Iran’s foreign minister to Biarritz for talks on the stand-off between Washington and Tehran.
Trump told journalists that they had been wrong to report that he was blindsided by the five-hour visit of Mohammad Javad Zarif to the summit’s sidelines, and said that while he thought it was too soon for a meeting he had no objections to it.
European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran’s internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.
Trump indicated an openness to discussions with Iran on a nuclear deal and said he was not looking for regime change.
“I’m looking at a really good Iran, really strong, we’re not looking for regime change,” he said. “And we’re looking to make Iran rich again, let them be rich, let them do well.”
The G7 leaders were due to discuss climate change in one of their final sessions Monday and were expected to consider a deal on technical and financial help for the Amazon.
A record number of fires are ravaging the rainforest, many of them in Brazil, drawing international concern because of Amazon’s importance to the global environment.
Macron shunted the blazes fires to the top of the summit agenda after declaring them a global emergency. Last week he accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government of not doing enough to protect the area and of lying about its environmental commitments.
The leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations look set to reach an agreement on how to help fight the Amazon forest fires and try to repair the devastation.