‘Sprung on a whim’: how German and Italian interests meant Boris Johnson’s grand G7 plan was doomed from the start
Posted on April 11th, 2017
Courtesy The Telegraph (UK)
Boris Johnson had arrived in Italy insisting he was a man with a plan.
The Foreign Secretary would use his powers of diplomacy to win the G7’s backing for threatening sanctions against Russia and Syria, which would in turn persuade Vladimir Putin that supporting Bashar al-Assad was no longer worth it.
Less than 24 hours later, the most important summit of his career appeared to have blown up in Mr Johnson’s face thanks to the intransigence of Germany and Italy, which critics say he should have seen coming.
By the time he left the Renaissance city of Lucca on Tuesday, his standing on the world stage – and that of Britain – was unquestionably diminished and his own colleagues were suggesting his grand plan failed because it had been drawn up “on a whim”.
What made matters worse was that Mr Johnson had staked his credibility on gaining a consensus at the G7 meeting of foreign ministers.
Having cancelled a trip to Moscow last weekend to leave the way clear for the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who arrived in the Russian capital last night, he had been mocked as America’s “poodle” by the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.