Wrapping G7 summit, Trump indicates he's open to meeting Iran leader

By Nicholas Sakelaris
 President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands as they hold a press conference on the closing day of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Monday. Photo by IAN LANGSDON/EPA-EFE
 President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands as they hold a press conference on the closing day of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France on Monday. Photo by IAN LANGSDON/EPA-EFE

Aug. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Donald Trump wrapped his appearance at the G7 summit in France Monday, floating the idea of hosting one at his Florida resort next year -- and indicating a possible face-to-face meeting with Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani, at some point down the road.

Trump ended the summit in Biarritz with a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he would like to see a meeting between the two leaders. Trump, however, said it's "too soon" to talk with Iranian officials


"I think he's going to want to meet," Trump said. "I think Iran wants to get their situation straightened out. Their inflation is through the roof. Their economy is tanked entirely."

Trump reiterated the 2015 nuclear agreement was a bad deal for the United States and lobbed another threat at Tehran, saying it will meet with "really violent force" if it doesn't cooperate with the international community.


After the news conference, the president and first lady Melania Trump departed for the trip back to the United States. They are due back at the White House Monday evening.

Trump's and Macron's remarks followed a climate change and biodiversity meeting the U.S. leader did not attend. Trump, however, said he supports clean water, clean air and a prosperous country.

"I think I know more about the environment than most people," Trump said, citing years of filing out environmental impact statements as a developer.

"The president had scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India, so a senior member of the administration attended [the climate change meeting] in his stead," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters.

The heads of the other six nations that comprise the G7 -- Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy -- were present, and approved a $20 million aid package to help Brazil and other South American countries addressing fires engulfing swaths of the Amazon rain forest.

Earlier Monday, Trump held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leader of Egypt. One topic of discussion was the ongoing trade conflict with China. Merkel said it's in "everyone's interest" for China and the United States to reach a deal.


Trump later clarified that China had asked to resume trade talks, and has lost an estimated 3 million jobs because of U.S. tariffs.

On Middle Eastern peace, Trump said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be very important to reaching a deal -- and called the failure of Israel forming a coalition government a "complicating factor." The full scope of the peace plan, created by White House adviser Jared Kushner, won't be unveiled until after Israel's Sept. 17 snap election.

"I think the Palestinians would like to make a deal," Trump said. "As you know, I cut off most funding to the Palestinians -- a lot of funding. And I think they'd like to take it back."

Trump also continued to push for Russia to be readmitted to the G7, saying it would be "good for everybody," and floated the idea of having one of next year's G7 summits at his Doral, Fla., resort.

"They love the location of the hotel," he said. "We haven't found anything that's even close to competing with it. Really, you can be there in a matter of minutes after you land."

When asked about a conflict of interest, Trump said, "I'm not going to make any money. I don't want to make money. I don't care about money. I think it's just a great place to be."


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