Trump ramps up Twitter criticism of Canada ahead of G7 getting underway

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President Xi Jinping on Friday awarded China's first friendship medal to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the two leaders firmed up their alliance amid mounting United States diplomatic and economic pressure on them.

"Trump fulfils his pre-election promises", he said.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Saturday that Putin and Trump discussed the prospects for a meeting in a March phone call and named Vienna as a possible location.

The president repeated his tough stance on tariffs, saying allies had been "taking advantage" of the USA on trade. I may have had a much different attitude, so you'd really have to ask that question of President Obama, you know - why did he do that? why did he do that?

"This medal of friendship represents the Chinese people's lofty respect for President Putin, and symbolizes the profound friendship between China and Russian Federation", he said.

Adding an extra layer of friction to the gathering, Trump suggested that Russian Federation - which was expelled following the annexation of Crimea - should be allowed to rejoin the group.

Hours before Donald Trump stunned the G7 with a friendly overture to Russia, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping sealed their status as BFFs.

The suspension was supported by the other members of the group, including the US, Canada, Japan and four European nations.

Maybe President Trump's jet-setting weekend has made Russia's leader feel left out. "They should let Russian Federation come back in because we should have Russian Federation at the negotiating table". On the National Security and Defense section of his "Promises Kept" website, the Trump re-election campaign highlights almost two-dozen separate actions the Trump administration has taken against Russian Federation "to punish those who seek to undermine American democracy and stability".

"The (prime minister) has always said we should engage with Russian Federation but beware", the source told Reuters.

The SCO was first announced in 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G7 countries", Trump tweeted early on Friday.

Xi, whose government is locked in tough negotiations with the United States to avoid a trade war, said World Trade Organisation rules and the multilateral trading system should be upheld to build an open world economy.

The meeting comes after US President Donald Trump controversially pulled Washington out of the 2015 global pact with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear program in return for easing economic sanctions.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met Saturday to discuss regional issues including both countries' involvement in the Syrian civil war and the U.S. withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran.