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G7 Leaders Issue a Strong Warning to Iran and Russia

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G7 leaders warned on Sunday that Iran has not much time to reach a deal on curbing its nuclear ambitions. They also warned Russia about the dire consequences with regards to invading Ukraine.

Ministers from the wealthiest countries met for two days in Liverpool, northwest England, in an effort to present a united front against global challenges. According to host Britain, the G7 talks in Vienna are Iran’s “last opportunity to negotiate a serious settlement”.

At a news conference as the talks concluded, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Iran still had time to complete the agreement.

Iran and world powers resumed talks on Thursday in an effort to revive their 2015 nuclear deal, from which the United States withdrew under Donald Trump in 2018.

Western powers say Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium goes far beyond what it says it wants, and could even be used to develop a nuclear weapon. Iranian officials said they are serious about returning to the talks, and US President Joe Biden said he is ready to return to the agreement.

Western Nations accuse Tehran of backsliding on progress made earlier this year and are playing for time. The latest comments from Truss mark the first time a signatory to the original deal has given an ultimatum.

G7 warns Russian over troop buildup on the Ukraine border

The G7 summit in Liverpool, northwest England, was billed as an opportunity to stand up to authoritarianism around the world by Britain, which hands over its G7 presidency next year to Germany.

Russian troop build-ups on Ukraine’s border, as well as Iran, dominated the talks, due to fears of an invasion by the former Soviet state.

Truss said there was “an overwhelming feeling that incursions into Ukraine would have massive consequences for Russia”.

On Saturday, a senior US State Department official said: “a large number of democratic countries” were ready to take action together with the G7 nations of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

US President Biden earlier this week hosted a virtual summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to express Western concerns.

Next week, his top diplomat for Europe and Eurasian affairs will go to Kiev and Moscow in an effort to resolve the standoff diplomatically.

The Russian military build-up has been interpreted as a defensive measure against Ukraine moving closer to NATO.

Addressing China’s ambitions

The US State Department is also pushing for “peace, security, and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region as Secretary of State Antony Blinken flies from Liverpool to Southeast Asia.

This year, Britain’s G7 presidency has been dominated by responses to Beijing’s alleged widespread domestic rights abuses. It has also been dominated by the rise of authoritarianism in the former British colony of Hong Kong.

An expert panel earlier this week charged China with genocide in Xinjiang by imposing population controls on minority Muslim Uyghurs.

Beijing of course rejected the report, saying it was biased against China.

In a statement, Truss stated that she and her counterparts were concerned about China’s “coercive economic policies” and strove to counter them with their own initiatives.

She added, “What we want to do is work with free-loving democracies to extend their economic reach and investment reach.”

We are increasing our investments in low- and middle-income countries because of this.”

Leaders of the G7 group announced plans for a global infrastructure fund meant to be more equitable than China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Cornwall, southwest England, in June.

Smaller countries, particularly in Africa, are saddled with unmanageable debt as a result of China’s trillion-dollar scheme.

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