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Trump at G7: Who's who in Merkel's photo?

Leaders captured in deep conversation with Donald Trump Image copyright JESCO DENZE

It was always slated to be a tense and awkward G7 summit and an Instagram post from the official account of German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to have captured one of those moments.

Here’s a who’s who of the people pictured, and where they stand on the trade row:

1. Donald Trump, US president

Mr Trump shocked America’s allies – namely the EU, Mexico and Canada – when he recently announced a 25% tariff on imports of steel and 10% on aluminium from these countries. They are all threatening retaliatory measures and the rift overshadowed the summit, leaving the American president isolated at times. Mr Trump departed early, complaining that America was “like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing”. But his relationship with fellow G7 leaders was at “10 out of 10”.

2. John Bolton, US national security adviser

It’s been just three months since he was appointed President Trump’s top security adviser but John Bolton has already made an impact. One of the president’s arguments for the tariffs is on “national security grounds” – a view Mr Bolton has stridently backed.

3. Kazuyuki Yamazaki, Japanese senior deputy minister for foreign affairs

Promoted to the post in July 2017, he recently led a Japanese delegation to Pakistan and took part in joint talks between Japan, China and South Korea in Seoul about a proposed free trade agreement.

Read more on the G7 summit:

4. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister

He has come under increased pressure to join retaliatory measures against America’s steep tariffs. This puts him in a difficult position – he has tried hard to cultivate a warm relationship with President Trump and the two are said to have met at least 10 times since he was elected to the White House.

5. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japanese deputy chief cabinet secretary

The MP from Japan’s governing party once worked in the ministry of international trade and industry.

6. Angela Merkel, German chancellor

She has been at the forefront of talks to try to resolve differences at the summit, as is clear in this photo. Mrs Merkel apparently floated an idea to set up a mechanism to resolve trade disputes between the US and its allies on Friday. Asked during the summit about her relationship with President Trump, Mrs Merkel said the two leaders did not always agree but could talk to each other: “I can say that I maintain a very open and direct relationship with the American president.”

7. Emmanuel Macron, French president

He engaged in a Twitter spat with President Trump over the tariffs just hours before the summit was due to start – leading some to question whether the blossoming “bromance” between the two was over. Despite this, they were seen to be on good terms, and President Macron’s team said his talks with Trump were “frank and robust”.

8. Theresa May, UK prime minister

In a telephone call last week, she told President Trump she found the US tariffs “unjustified and deeply disappointing”. But she also struck a more conciliatory tone at the summit, urging fellow leaders to step back from the brink of a possible trade war.

9. Larry Kudlow, director of the US National Economic Council

President Trump’s top economic adviser has defended Donald Trump’s move to increase tariffs and says his boss should not be held responsible for mounting trade conflicts with US allies. Mr Kudlow said the president’s call for eliminating all tariffs between G7 nations was the “best way to promote economic growth”.

French President Macron tweeted an image taken at about the same time as the photo, but from a different angle, showing just how densely packed the G7 leaders and their assistants were as they gathered around President Trump.

Image copyright French presidency

And another photo taken by Mr Trudeau’s official photographer Adam Scotti shows a slightly happier scene, with Mrs Merkel smiling with Mr Trump and Mr Trudeau seeming to laugh.

Image copyright Reuters

Mrs Merkel’s photo has taken off on social media, spawning all sorts of memes and funny caption contests.

The posture and confident body language of the powerful German leader were highlighted by many on Twitter, who said it was reminiscent of a schoolteacher telling off a naughty student (President Trump).

The US correspondent for Germany’s T-Online website, Fabian Reinbold, noted how different versions of the same moment were captured by several photographers:

And the strong body language on show was not lost on many:

Finally, some took a (somewhat humorous) guess at what was actually being said:


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