Thu, 09 Apr 2020

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations were expected to conclude their summit on August 26 with a discussion of problems including the fires currently ravaging the Amazon rainforest.

French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that the leaders meeting in the southwestern French coastal resort of Biarritz were finalizing a possible deal to provide 'technical and financial help.'

G7 countries comprise the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Britain, and Canada.

A record number of fires are ravaging the rainforest, many of them in Brazil, prompting international concern because of the Amazon's importance to the global environment.

Critics have accused Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of 'green-lighting' the Amazon's destruction through his rhetoric and a lack of action on deforestation violations.

The three-day summit in Biarritz saw a dramatic shift of focus on August 25, when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a brief and unannounced visit to discuss the diplomatic deadlock on Tehran's nuclear program.

Zarif tweeted that he held 'constructive' talks with his French counterpart and Macron.

'Road ahead is difficult. But worth trying,' he wrote, adding that he gave a joint briefing to German and British officials.

The French presidency described the talks as 'positive' and said the discussions would continue.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have ratcheted up since Washington last year withdrew from the 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

Five other signatories, including France, Britain, and Germany, remain committed to the accord, but Iran has begun reducing some of its commitments under the agreement.

Based on reporting by Reuters, the BBC, and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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