The following is an excerpt from AFP.com | June 29, 2017 |
European leaders vowed Thursday to defend the landmark Paris climate pact at a G20 summit next week, setting them on collision course with US President Donald Trump at what is expected to be a stormy meeting.
Leaders of Germany, France, Italy and other EU economies acknowledged their long standing ties with Washington but said they would not give in on "existential" threats like global warming.
They also stressed the importance of keeping markets open, warning that the protectionism and isolationism symbolised by Trump's "America First" stance won't solve global problems.
On the biggest challenges, Europe was now "a reference point," said EU Council President Donald Tusk after the G20 preparatory meeting hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The EU stood for a rules-based international system, he said, vowing that "we speak with one voice" at the G20 summit.
Merkel, who will host the July 7-8 summit in her birth city of Hamburg, said she "knew that we could not expect discussions to be easy" after Trump announced in early June that the US would withdraw from the Paris deal.
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