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Trump says was aware of Iran FM’s surprise G7 visit, but ‘too soon’ to meet

Published: Updated:

US President Donald Trump said from the G7 summit on Monday that he told French President Emmanuel Macron to "go ahead" and invite Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, but that it is “too soon” for him to meet Zarif.

Trump said he wanted to see a strong Iran and was not seeking regime change in Tehran, adding that the way Iranians were being forced to live was unacceptable. The president added that “Iran is under a lot of financial stress.”

He declined to comment on whether he would waive oil sanctions on Tehran in order to get the country to the negotiating table.

China trade war

President Donald Trump said on Monday China had contacted US trade officials overnight to say they wanted to return to the negotiating table, welcoming the news as a very positive development for the world.

Speaking on the sidelines of a summit of major industrialized nations, Trump hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping as a great leader and said he welcomed his desire for a deal and for calm.

An increasingly bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies sharply escalated on Friday, with both sides leveling more tariffs on each other’s exports.

Talks with Merkel

Germany’s Angela Merkel said on Monday that she had productive talks with Trump on Iran, but that they still long way to go on the issue.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday there had been “great unity” among G7 leaders on the question of how to deal with Iran at a summit in France and they had “more or less” come to a conclusion.

However, Merkel, sitting beside him, said that while she and Trump had productive talks on Iran there was still a long way to go on the issue.

- With agencies.