U.S. hopes for in-person G7 summit end of June: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Any in-person meeting of Group of Seven leaders will take place at the end of June, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron greets U.S. President Donald Trump after a joint press conference at the end of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

President Donald Trump in March canceled the G7 meeting scheduled for June 10 as the coronavirus outbreak was spreading around the world and international travel was curtailed.

Trump on Wednesday said he may seek to revive the idea of a face-to-face meeting of G7 leaders near Washington, saying it would send a message that the world is heading back to normal.

“The G7 summit, if it happens in person and we think it will, will take place at the end of June,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

O’Brien said he believed the nation’s capital is close to its peak of coronavirus cases and the United States would like to hold an in-person summit if the situation permits.

However, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, said on Friday the Washington metropolitan area has the highest percentage of positive test results nationwide.

She said she has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work with officials in Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles to figure out why cases are rising.

O’Brien said he believed the G7 leaders would prefer to meet in person rather than on video conference.

“So the president extended the invitation and so far we’ve had a great response,” he said. “The logistics - we’ll make sure everybody is tested. We’ll make sure that it’s a safe environment if the leaders can come here. But we’d love to host them in Washington.”

French President Emmanuel Macron is open to traveling to the United States for an in-person meeting of Group of Seven leaders if the coronavirus epidemic situation allows, an Elysee official said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky