It used to be a reassuring ritual.
World leaders turn up at a glamorous location somewhere, agree on how to make the world better, richer or safer, and leave after issuing a heart-warming communique to that effect.
In the world we are currently living in you would be forgiven for finding any international summit beginning with a “G” anything but reassuring.
The chances of agreement at the G7 in Biarritz are so poor its French host, Emmanuel Macron, has said they won’t even try to come up with a final communique.
No huge surprise.
The last G20 in Osaka nearly came completely unstuck over the wording of its closing statement because of America’s objections to the language on climate change.
And the last G7 in Quebec was utterly wrecked by Donald Trump.
He did not like something the Canadian prime minister said in his closing news conference which he watched on Air Force One after leaving.
In the tantrum that followed, he ordered his signature be scratched from that summit’s ill-fated communique.
The one before that, he announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, depressing millions across the planet.
This one is not shaping up any better.
The prelude has been one of the wackiest episodes in the Trump White House – with the US president cancelling a state visit to a close US ally because he does not like the way it rejected his proposal to buy a chunk of its territory.
The utterly bizarre Greenland purchase affair will have other leaders on edge, even if they are getting accustomed to Trump’s antics by now.
And the furore over the Amazon wildfires could prove incendiary too in more ways than one.
Liberal Europeans interfering in other people’s affairs, criticising a leader Mr Trump regards as a “Mini-Me” protege, and preaching on climate change?
What could possibly go wrong?
Source: SKY NEWS