August 26, 2019 / 11:12 AM / 22 days ago

Trump puts forward own Miami-area golf course for next G7 summit

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he would probably host next year’s Group of Seven summit of the major industrialized countries at one of his own properties - the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami - but insisted he would not personally profit from the resort’s selection.

The G7 countries take it in turn to stage the summit, often choosing locations that show off areas of natural beauty.

Trump said the Florida resort was a perfect choice, both due to its size and the fact it was just a five-minute drive from Miami airport.

“They love the location of the hotel, they also like the fact is it right next to the airport for convenience. And it is Miami, Doral, Miami, so it is a great area,” he said during this year’s summit in the French coastal town of Biarritz.

He said a final decision had yet to be taken, but added: “We haven’t had anything that could even come close to competing with it, especially when you look at the location.”

In a news conference later on Monday, Trump said he would not directly benefit from hosting the G7 at his golf resort, saying: “From my standpoint, I’m not going to make any money. In my opinion, I’m not going to make any money.”

Trump has attended three G7 summits, in Italy, Canada and France. On each occasion, the meeting has been held far from any airport that can take his Air Force One plane, meaning he has had to be shuttled in by helicopter or by a smaller plane.

“So many places are so far away, the drive is so long, they need helicopters. This is somewhere you can be at within minutes of landing,” he said.

Although he did not like the fact he had to swap planes in France, Trump praised the setup in Biarritz, at a conference center overlooking the Atlantic.

“We can learn from what they did here, even architecturally, the way the rooms were set up and designed,” he said.

FILE PHOTO: The Trump National Doral golf resort is shown in Doral, Florida, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

He, however, made clear he would not produce any unexpected guests, as France did by inviting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to hold talks on the sidelines of the gathering on Saturday.

“There won’t be any surprises,” he said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by John Irish and Jonathan Oatis

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