Leaders of G7 nations begin summit in Italy

While Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Britain and Japan confirmed their commitment to the Paris agreement, Trump - who promised during the campaign to abandon the accord - had not yet made up his mind, said Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Endorsing measures to combat terror is expected to find easy agreement, especially after the attack on an English pop music concert killed 22 people Monday night.

Addressing a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Thursday, Mr Trump warned that all members of the alliance should contribute more financially on defence.

However, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said at the summit on Friday: "We're not lowering our sanctions on Russian Federation".

A senior Canadian government official with intimate knowledge of the negotiations says the Paris Agreement on the fight against climate change, which Trump might back out of, and worldwide trade remain major sticking points that will likely keep talks going through the night.

Stressing that Trump would put economic development first, Cohn also said the United States was looking forward to "robust discussions about what free and open means".

US officials, however, have so far submitted broad points that fail to nail down positions on issues the leaders will discuss Friday and Saturday in Taormina, Italy, according to four foreign officials and one USA official reached by POLITICO.

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Also in Brussels, Trump had fired an extraordinary broadside at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for failing to pay their fair share of the transatlantic defence bill, and stopped short of endorsing the group's guarantee of collective defence.

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Council President Donald Tusk, right, watch the Frecce Tricolori Italian Air Force acrobatic squadron performing, in Taormina, Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017.

Trump, asked by reporters in Taormina whether he had accused Germany of being "very bad" on trade, did not respond.

Both US and European Union officials confirmed the outspoken president had raised the auto trade issue but sought to play down the language used, as Trump shared friendly words with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders heading into the G7 gathering.

Gentiloni had gone into the summit acknowledging deep divisions but hoping for some sign of flexibility from the US.

Kushner and his wife, Trump's daughter Ivanka, have returned to Washington after accompanying the president for the first part of his first foreign tour.

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Officials from the G7 countries meeting later this week are crafting the formal statement they'll issue from the gathering, as is typically done ahead of such staid, prepackaged summits of world leaders.

Trump called for improved ties with Moscow during his election campaign.

It has also enabled Trump to position himself as a more statesmanlike figure and, notably after his meeting with Pope Francis, as a man of peace - stances which European officials hope will edge him towards compromise with partners across a broad range of issues.

Naylor noted that for the first time since 1981, four of out of seven participants - the leaders of the US, France, Britain and Italy - are at their first G7 summit.

"Climate change is not a distant future threat: it is helping fuel a humanitarian disaster in Somalia and other countries in the Horn of Africa", organization Oxfam International said in a press release.

Japan was hoping to use the summit to push North Korea up the worldwide agenda with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set to warn that the unpredictable regime in Pyongyang, "is a grave threat not only to East Asia but also to the world".

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