The foreign ministers of the G7 countries are meeting today and tomorrow in Tokyo in an effort to come to a common line in the Israel-Hamas warwhile restating their support for Ukraine while also dabbling in other issues, from the Caucasus to the Asia-Pacific region.
However, the Group of 7 will encounter great difficulties in calling with one voice for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The UN Security Council has so far failed to do so, and Israel is opposed to the prospect until the hostages held by the Hamas organization are released.
The United States has discussed with Israel the possibility of “regular pauses” to allow civilians to flee conflict zones, but the length of those “pauses” remains up for negotiation.
“A call for a humanitarian truce or a declaration of principles is possible among G7 member countries that share common values. But it is certain that it will be non-binding and with general formulations”, says Valerie Nikeof the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Japan today, after an intensive diplomatic tour of the Middle East. He made no comment upon his arrival.
“We will discuss how we could secure a series of humanitarian pauses in order to ease the suffering of the people of Gaza,” German Foreign Minister Analena Burbock said in a statement yesterday.
The French Foreign Ministry also recalled the need “to make every possible effort to prevent a regional conflict and to assess the importance of defining a political horizon from the perspective of the two states.”
Continued support to Ukraine
“Ukraine is and will remain at the top of the G7 agenda,” assured Analena Burbok, at a time when Kiev is worried about the appearance of a relaxation in Western support and the consequent fixation on a war of positions and attrition.
“If our support for Ukraine waned today, Russia would ruthlessly exploit that fact, with dire consequences for Ukrainians and Europeans. Other players in other parts of the world would also draw negative conclusions,” the German foreign minister warned.
“This is why it is so important that the G7 continues its support for Ukraine in a decisive and comprehensive manner. For example, we will continue to work together on an anti-aircraft shield for Ukraine,” he added.
A teleconference with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is also scheduled for the G7 ministerial meeting.
The situation in the Caucasus, centered on the tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan will also be on the menu of the Tokyo talks.
A teleconference is also planned with the foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries, in an attempt by the G7 to offset the influence of Russia and China in this region.
According to Geopolitics analysts, it is likely that the G7 will adopt a more moderate tone towards Beijing this time, ahead of the meeting that will take place this month in San Francisco between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and the COP28 on Climate.
G7 members will try to strike a balance at the Tokyo meeting between opening up to China and remaining alert to the threat it represents to stability in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Robert Ward of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.
“There are many reasons to try to promote dialogue between China at this time, whether it is concerns about Taiwan, North Korea’s continued development of weapons of mass destruction, or the rapid modernization of the armed forces by China itself,” according to Robert Ward.
“The climate has always served as a ‘pretext’ for renewing or promoting positive elements of the dialogue with China,” according to Valerie Nique, of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique.
Source: RES – BEE