Merkel “cannot confirm” G7 attendance amid coronavirus pandemic
German Chancellor Angela Merkel “cannot confirm” that she will attend a possible G7 summit of world leaders in Washington amid the coronavirus pandemic, a spokesperson at the Chancellery said Saturday.
US President Donald Trump has said the summit could be held in Washington in late June.
“The Chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit in Washington at the end of June,” Merkel’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“As of today, given the overall pandemic situation, she cannot confirm her personal participation, that is, a trip to Washington,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn, expressed his “disappointment” over the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, saying that the decision taken by the Trump administration was a “setback” for international health policy.
Some context: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday he could not yet commit to attending the proposed G7 meeting in person because of concerns over transmission of the virus and Canada’s quarantine rules.
French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Trump on Thursday. The two leaders “agreed on the importance of convening the G7 in person in the near future,” according to a White House readout of the call. But the White House did not say whether Macron had committed to attending in person.