BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to accept US President Donald Trump's invitation to attend an envisaged summit of the Group of Seven (G7) in the United States, Politico reported on Friday (May 30).
"The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," the report quoted German government spokesman Steffen Seibert as saying.
"She will of course continue to monitor the development of the pandemic."
Trump believes there would be "no greater example of reopening" than holding a G7 summit in the United States near the end of June, the White House said on Tuesday.
NO CLEAR RESPONSES
Merkel is the first to give a firm no, while other world leaders have expressed vaguely positive responses.
Earlier on Friday, the White House said Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had spoken and "agreed on the importance of convening the G7 in person in the near future".
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who hosted the 2018 summit, has said any in-person gathering would have to prioritise safety, while a French presidential official said that Emmanuel Macron was "willing to go to Camp David if the health conditions allow".
European Council head Charles Michel, meanwhile, said through a spokesman that he would attend "if health conditions allow."
G7 countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - take turns organising the annual gathering. In 2019 it was France.