Statue of Liberty in a lifejacket at G-7 protest


Leaders of the world's rich nations braced for contentious talks with Donald Trump at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after the US president lambasted North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not spending more on defense and accused Germany of "very bad" trade policies.

Diplomats worked through the night trying to bridge the gap between the new US administration and its allies Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan on a number of barbed issues, including trade, the environment and Russian Federation. Trump has previously promoted a protectionist agenda that alarmed his G7 allies.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said during the signing of the declaration that it was "a strong message of friendship, closeness and solidarity with Great Britain". "It will not be an easy debate", he added.

But it also jibes with talk about Trudeau, who now has the third-most seniority at the G7 table despite this being only his second summit, having helped to find consensus between the leaders, including on the thorny issues of protectionism and the Paris Agreement.

Some of the leaders watch an Italian flying squadron at the summit.

Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, .

Other leaders will look to ensure their economies won't suffer as a result of Trump's new approach, CNN reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Trump spoke to on the sidelines of the summit a day after criticizing the Germans on trade, said the G-7 leaders had made "many arguments" in support of the Paris agreement.

Climate policy promises to be the real buzzkill at the G-7 party.

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The group reached agreement on improving cooperation against terrorism in the wake of the bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester, Britain, ahead of the summit. In particular reporters and social media have pointed out his lengthy handshake with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, his alleged "shove" to move in front of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and his face-to-face with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who expressed dismay over an alleged USA leak of British intel from the investigation into the Manchester bombing.

He also predicted "fairly robust" talks on whether Trump should honor a USA commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"We are sure that after an internal reflection, the United States will also want to commit to it", Gentiloni said, according to the AP.

Trump's attempts to impose a ban on some Muslim countries contrast with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's position that immigration is a source of strong, sustainable inclusive growth. Sicily is on the front lines in Europe's migration crisis, the first landfall for most of the more than 180,000 migrants who arrived in Italy past year - and the reason the Italian government chose Sicily as the backdrop for this summit.

In March, the U.S. got the G20 to drop its traditional pro-free trade stance, but Trump has postponed a decision on whether to abandon his country's commitments to curbing carbon emissions until after Taormina.

Cohn said the President gleaned important information from his G7 partners but had not yet determined a way to move forward.

Sicily was chosen to host the summit to underline the security issue faces from Libya across the sea, which is sending an unrelenting flow of migrants toward Europe.

European leaders have also found themselves asked repeatedly to respond to President Trump's powerful speech against Islamist terrorism before 55 world leaders from Arab and other Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh earlier this week.