One photo says it all at 'G6+1' summit

Photo shared by Angela Merkel hints at tension at G7

Friday's trade session, where G7 allies planned to confront the US president over trade tariffs, had "some emotions" but was civilized and diplomatic, said the official who followed the talks.

Trump later reacted to the photo, saying it was captured during a discussion that was "unrelated to anything". As expected he did not budge.

"Anyone who leaves with their backs turned away shows incoherence and inconsistency", a French official said on condition of anonymity.

Like Canada, the European Union is preparing counter-measures against us tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, Merkel said.

Many saw a distillation of a crisis of the West in the photograph, and a revival of the debate launched by U.S. and British media after Trump's 2016 election whether Merkel was the new "leader of the free world".

Trump lashed out again at USA allies Monday in Twitter messages focusing on "massive trade surpluses" that he said the United States has endured "for decades" with its closest allies.

Out of a hundred photos that were taken during the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Canada, this particular picture of stood out after it was surfaced on social media on Saturday.

"A hands-down public relations triumph for Germany", news weekly Der Spiegel said of the picture that seemed to capture the world's imagination.

Amid the ongoing trade dispute with the US, Merkel called on European countries to remain united and to continue their efforts to prevent an escalation. The EU is also attending the summit.

The EU has already said it will announce countermeasures against Trump's metals tariffs on July 1.

Germany, Europe's top economy, finds itself in the sights of the U.S. president due to its large trade surplus and defense spending criticized as too low.

Nevertheless, Saturday's events only reinforced the chancellor's commitment to forging a stronger, more unified European Union. We have to change it. He reportedly said NAFTA was the second worst deal ever, WTO was the worst, and that US/he paid to defend other countries, they don't pay to defend themselves.

On Friday, speaking at a business conference in Berlin, Le Maire had welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's support for the idea of a euro zone investment budget, one of French President Emmanuel Macron's key demands. The leaders had exchanged terse messages on Twitter ahead of the summit. She also described her impression from Trump's behavior at the summit as "disillusionment".

"We finished the meeting, really, everybody was happy, and I agreed to sign something", Trump told reporters at a news conference following his summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore. "Ask this great lady".

American National Security Advisor John Bolton, however, offered a different interpretation of the photograph.

There was much speculation at the G7 summit about whether the leaders would be able to agree on enough to issue a joint communiqué, given serious differences over trade and climate change policies.

G7 chiefs have largely praised Trump for his efforts to stabilize the Korean peninsula, but they are unhappy he pulled out of an worldwide agreement to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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