G7 Summit takeaways: The US is back on top, the Queen cut a cake with a sword, and world leaders promised 1 billion COVID-19 doses

(L-R) Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on June 13, 2021.
(L-R) Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend a plenary session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on June 13, 2021.

  • World leaders from the US, Italy, France, Japan, Canada, Germany, and the UK met this weekend for the G7 Summit.
  • The summit, made up of the world’s wealthiest large democracies and close allies, is designed to discuss economic and international policies.
  • Here are the biggest takeaways from the three-day event:
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, world leaders met in person for the first time since the coronavirus shut down travel.

(L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Queen Elizabeth II, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, President of the European Council Charles Michel and United States President Joe Biden pose for a group photo at a drinks reception for Queen Elizabeth II and G7 leaders at The Eden Project during the G7 Summit on June 11, 2021 in St Austell, Cornwall, England.
(L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Queen Elizabeth II, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and US President Joe Biden.

The seven world leaders — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and US President Joe Biden — met on a seaside resort in Cornwall, England. 

It was the first time the heads of these countries met in person since the pandemic shut down travel more than a year ago. The G7 leaders last met in person in France in August 2019, nearly two years ago.

In addition to the seven countries normally present, others like South Africa, South Korea, India, and Australia received invitations to attend virtually the 47th Summit.

In the spirit of gathering and collaboration, the G7 leaders talked through strategies to end the coronavirus pandemic.

Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson announced that the leaders would together donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses against the coronavirus to lower-income countries over the next year in a coordinated effort to end the pandemic in 2022. 

“Our international priority is to accelerate the rollout of safe and effective, accessible and affordable vaccines for the poorest countries, noting the role of extensive immunization as a global public good,” the leaders said in a statement published on Sunday. 

They promised to also help countries around the world develop technology that can manufacture and disseminate vaccines quicker.

When asked about the expected timeline to end the pandemic on a global scale, Biden said “it might take slightly longer” than 2022.

G7 leaders agree that the US is back on top.

Emmanuel Macron in Brussels
Emmanuel Macron, President of France speaks in Brussels on October 2, 2020.

Macron on Saturday signaled his confidence in the United States as an ally with Biden at the nation’s helm. When asked by reporters whether he thinks “America is back,” Biden gestured to Macron to answer the question. 

“Yes, definitely,” Macron said. “It’s great to have a US president who’s part of the club and very willing to cooperate. What you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership.”

Biden indicated his agreement. “The United States, I’ve said before, we’re back,” the US president said. “Things are going, I think, well, and we’re, as we say back in the States, we’re on the same page.”

Johnson on Thursday hailed Biden as “a big breath of fresh air.”

The Queen showed off her sword skills.

The Queen used a sword to cut a cake
Queen Elizabeth II attempts to cut a cake with a sword, lent to her by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, Edward Bolitho, to celebrate of the Big Lunch initiative at the Eden Project, near St Austell in southwest England on June 11, 2021.

The Queen of England borrowed a ceremonial sword to cut a cake on Friday. 

An aide informed her that there was a standard knife available to cut the cake. But the Queen insisted she use the sword.

“I know there is,” she told the aide. “This is more unusual.”

After the first slice using the sword, she then cut the rest of the cake with a regular knife.

World leaders single out Russia and China.

Biden Putin
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to meet in Geneva on June 16.

The world leaders presented a united front against Russia and China, vowing to condemn human-rights abuses and political tactics that stray from their economic and international visions. 

Biden, for example, rebuked China for human-rights abuses. “I think China has to start to act more responsibly in terms of international norms on human rights and transparency,” he said. “Transparency matters across the board.”

In a press briefing, a senior US administration official said the six other leaders maintain “a very strong and shared foundation” in their approach to China. The seven leaders also promised to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Later, China clapped back, saying “the days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone.”

On Russia, Biden said US relations with Moscow have reached a “low point.” 

“Russia has engaged in activities which we believe are contrary to international norms, but they have also bitten off some real problems they’re going to have trouble chewing on,” Biden said.

Leaders agree on a plan to phase out gasoline cars.

Three G7 leaders sit at table
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in (L) and US President Joe Biden (R) listen to Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a working session at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on June 12, 2021.

Aside from the coronavirus, G7 leaders focused on advancing climate change measures. 

Among them is a proposal to phase out gasoline and diesel cars. The leaders vowed to end “almost all direct government support” for fossil fuels and halt “all unabated coal as soon as possible.”

In an effort to extend this proposal beyond the G7, world leaders agreed to allocate $2 billion to help developing countries to seek out other options besides coal, a statement from the White House said.

Despite the heavy focus away from fossil fuels, world leaders, including Biden, did not set a concrete date for the end of coal use, which contributes directly to global warming.

Biden met the Queen for the first time as president.

Joe Biden and Jill Biden meet the Queen at Windsor Castle
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden stood beside the Queen outside of Windsor Castle on Sunday.

Biden and Queen Elizabeth II met on Friday, marking his first time engaging with the Queen in person as president. The Queen has met every president since Harry S. Truman, with the exception of Lyndon B. Johnson.

At the end of the Summit on Sunday, Biden and first lady Jill had tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

Biden met the Queen for the first time as a US senator in the 1980s.

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French President Emmanuel Macron says ‘America is back’ after Biden’s first few months in office

Emmanuel Macron in Brussels
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in Brussels on October 2, 2020.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said “America is back” now that President Joe Biden is in office.
  • “It’s great to have a US president who’s part of the club and very willing to cooperate,” Macron said at the G7 Summit.
  • Macron’s remarks mark a stark contrast from when President Donald Trump was in office.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday signaled his confidence in the United States as an ally with President Joe Biden at the nation’s head.

When asked by reporters whether he thinks “America is back,” Biden gestured to Macron to answer the question.

“Yes, definitely,” Macron said at the G7 Summit.

“It’s great to have a US president who’s part of the club and very willing to cooperate,” Macron said. “What you demonstrate is that leadership is partnership.”

Biden, adding on, indicated his agreement.

“The United States, I’ve said before, we’re back,” the US president said. “Things are going, I think, well, and we’re, as we say back in the States, we’re on the same page.”

Macron’s comments about relations between the United States and other countries like France are a complete departure from his thoughts from when President Donald Trump was in office.

Trump and Macron had a notoriously tumultuous relationship. The French president, for example, didn’t seem to regard Trump as a leader, characterizing him as someone who’s not a “classical politician.”

After the US pulled out of the Paris climate agreement in 2017, France chose to not invite American leaders to a climate change meeting in Paris. Macron around the same time said France “will be there to replace” US contributions to the funding of climate change research.

In 2019, Macron and other world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were caught on a hot mic mocking Trump for his unusually long press conferences.

Macron in his Saturday remarks did not explicitly mention Trump by name but reporters and officials were quick to make comparisons between the former president and Biden.

Macron’s remarks come on the heels of praise and criticism from other world leaders.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for example, hailed Biden on Thursday as “a big breath of fresh air.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin told NBC News that Trump is “extraordinary” and “talented.” Putin called Biden a “career man” who “has spent virtually his entire adulthood” in politics.

Across 12 countries surveyed on Biden’s approval rating so far, a median of 75% of respondents said they felt confident he would “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” according to a Pew Research study released Thursday. At the end of Trump’s presidency, just 17% of global respondents believed the same about the former president.

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Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ found in home of man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron

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French President Emmanuel Macron (C) talks with a young boy as he walks in a street of Valence on June 8, 2021 during a visit in the French southeastern department of Drôme, the second stage of a nationwide tour ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron during a campaign stop this week had a copy of “Mein Kampf” in his home, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Two people were arrested Tuesday after the incident in the Drome region of southeastern France. Footage shows a man shouting, “à bas la Macronie,” or “down with Macron,” before slapping him.

The BBC reported that investigators had found weapons, including a sword, a dagger, and a “collector’s rifle,” on the man’s home, as well as Adolf Hitler’s fascist manifesto.

Citing law enforcement, Reuters reported that the suspect is 28-year-old Damien Tarel, who ran a local club for “enthusiasts of medieval swordsmanship.”

A source described Tarel to the news agency as “a bit lost, a bit geeky, a bit of a gamer.”

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