Dominic Raab to meet US counterpart Blinken today ahead of G7 – ‘UK not in the cold’

Dominic Raab defends UK’s foreign aid spending cuts

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The meeting comes ahead of the first in-person summit of G7 foreign ministers, which is set to start on Tuesday. During the summit, the UK will speak to representatives from Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, France and the EU about what Mr Raab labelled their “shared challenges”.

James Rogers, of the Council on Geostrategy think tank, said: “It’s good to see that Blinken is visiting the UK and actively participating in the Government’s G7 agenda – it will be a good opportunity to bring together a number of important countries and to coax those who are not necessarily on board, particularly those European members who are conflicted over China.

“It really puts paid to fears circulating before Biden became President that his administration would focus on the EU and cast Britain into the cold.

“After all, Biden has his Irish roots and Blinken, who grew up in Paris, famously accused Britain of self-harm over Brexit a few years ago.”

He added: “All the main subjects under discussion are connected by one thing: China. Even building back better is about levelling up and becoming less dependent on China.

“While the EU has shown its weakness over China, the UK has offered a carrier strike group, which is about to deploy, and is building deeper connections with India and Japan.”

Mr Raab highlighted the importance of gathering the world’s powers in a conversation on how to tackle “shared challenges” together.

He said: “This week’s G7 meeting shows Global Britain bringing the world’s biggest democracies together to tackle shared challenges. We’ll be taking action to ensure fair access to vaccines around the world, setting global girls’ education targets, agreeing ambitious action on climate change and developing new measures to prevent famine.”

As well as G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, US & UK – plus the EU), the Foreign Secretary has also invited India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa.

The Chair and Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will also join this year’s meeting as guests.

Department for International Trade sources close to Trade Secretary Liz Truss told the meeting could increase trade opportunities for the UK.

One Whitehall source said: “The G7 is truly an opportunity to show Britain is open for business through constructive diplomacy.

“Asia is one of the fastest-growing global markets and we want to take advantage of significant opportunities.”

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