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Trump to leave early G7 early, missing environmental talks

Reuters  |  LA MALBAIE, Quebec 

By Roberta and Vey

LA MALBAIE, (Reuters) - planned to leave the summit of the wealthy nations on Saturday before it discussed climate change and the health of oceans, underlining fractures in the exacerbated by trade tariffs.

The six-plus-one tone of the gathering in means the leaders from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Italy and are unlikely to issue a joint statement, too sharply divided on trade or the environment to reach consensus.

Still, a French said on Friday the and will establish a dialogue on trade within the next two weeks, signaling a modest step forward for the bitterly divided allies of the

The two-day summit in has been marred by fears of a trade war and tit-for-tat exchanges of hostile tweets, with trading partners furious over Trump's decision to impose tariffs on and aluminum imports from Canada, the and as part of his "America First" agenda. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on U.S. imports.

While Trump set a combative tone before even arriving at the summit with a series of tweets about unfair trade deals, he appeared affable and joking at multiple brief photo opportunities and praised French for helping to work out trade issues.

"Something's going to happen. I think it will be very positive," Trump said on Friday, without giving details.

The leaders worked late into the night on Friday at the luxurious and tightly secured riverside hotel where the summit is being held, with the tweeting a photo showing the leaders huddled around a coffee table at 11:20 p.m. ET, looking at what appeared to be a draft document marked up with highlighter. German sat between Macron and Trump on a sofa, while Canadian sat to the left of the U.S.

Trump plans to leave the summit mid-morning on Saturday, four hours earlier than originally planned, to fly to to meet with North Korean leader

That means he will miss a working session among the leaders on climate change and clean energy, as well as talks among the and poorer countries focused on the health of oceans.

The early exit also means he will be gone before allies begin closing conferences likely to be laden with criticism of the U.S. stance on trade and Trump's abrupt suggestion on Friday that be re-admitted to the elite grouping.

was suspended from the group in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Merkel said EU countries at the summit agreed that the conditions to readmit had not been met and even seemed to reject the suggestion.

Trump's presidency has been clouded by a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by his campaign. Both and Trump have denied the allegations.

(Additional reporting by Vey, David Ljunggren, Giselda Vagnoni, and William James; Writing by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Stephen Powell)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 18:13 IST