Trump, G-7 peers seek deals on terrorism, trade, climate

Activists wearing the masks of the seven leaders of G7, from left, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sit at a table eating mock pasta during an initiative by Oxfam, an international confederation of NGOS aimed at fighting poverty, ahead of the G7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27 in Taormina, Italy, Thursday, May 25, 2017. (Orietta Scardino/ANSA via AP)
Italian army soldiers patrol a beach at Giardini Naxos near by the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, Thursday, May 25, 2017 ahead of a G7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27. Four leaders are making their G7 premier, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Italian army officers patrol a beach at Giardini Naxos near by the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, ahead of a G7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27, in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, Thursday, May 25, 2017. Four leaders are making their G7 premier, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
FILE - In this May 22, 2017 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles behind a battery case during the groundbreaking ceremony for a new battery factory for German ACCUMOTIVE owned subsidiary of the Daimler AG in Kamenz, eastern Germany. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)
FILE - In this May 21, 2017 file photo President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Kuwait's Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, in Riyadh. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, files)
An Italian army officer patrols a beach at Giardini Naxos near by the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, ahead of a G7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27, in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, Thursday, May 25, 2017. Four leaders are making their G7 premier, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
FILE - In this April 29, 2017 file photo, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni arrives for an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels, Belgium. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, file)
FILE - In this May 18, 2017 file photo Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gives a wave as he departs a hotel following a meeting with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, in Seattle, WA, United States. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, files)
FILE - In this May 16, 2017 file photo newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron waves to the media after a meeting with the International Olympic Committee at the Elysee palace in Paris. Four leaders are making their G7 premier, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, files)
FILE - In this May 1, 2017 file photo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech during the annual rally on revising Japan's constitution organized by ruling party lawmakers in Tokyo, Monday, May 1, 2017. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, file)
FILE - In this May 23, 2017 file photo British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media outside 10 Downing Street. Four leaders are making their G7 premier in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, on May 26 and 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, files)

TAORMINA, Sicily — The differences are well-known: climate change, trade and migration threaten to throw a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies off its consensus game, with President Donald Trump cast as the spoiler-in-chief. But it may not play out exactly that way, according to long-time G-7 observers.

"It is a forum made for Donald Trump's particular style. It is highly informal, highly interactive and they speak in very colloquial language to each other," said John Kirton, director of the G-7 Research Group at the University of Toronto. "It is the ultimate lonely hearts club. No one understands how tough it is to have the top job except the peers with the top job in other countries."

While Trump has met all of the leaders one on one, this will be the first time all seven are around the same table, including also newcomers Emmanuel Macron of France, Theresa May of Britain and the Italian host, Paolo Gentiloni — forging a new dynamic after a year of global political turmoil amid rising nationalism.

Climate policy promises to be the real buzzkill at the G-7 party. Endorsing measures to combat terror is expected to find easy agreement, especially after the attack on an English pop music concert killed 22 people Monday night. But some of the trust that fuels such meetings was undermined by a leak of British intelligence in the Manchester attack blamed on a U.S. official, annoying British officials. Trump also going against the grain on trade with more protectionist stand.

His pending review of U.S. climate policies and decision not to make up his mind before Taormina has braced environmentalists for the possibility of bland language that says little after years of increasingly stronger commitments to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and emissions of in greenhouse gases under the Paris Agreement.

"What we do not want to see is a false compromise on nothing," said Tobias Muenchmeyer, a political expert for Greenpeace. "We want to see determination and commitment over unity," with the other partners going ahead without the United States.

Trump's attempts to impose a U.S. travel ban on some Muslim countries contrast with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's position that immigration is a source of strong, sustainable inclusive growth. Sicily is on the front lines in Europe's migration crisis, the first landfall for most of the more than 180,000 migrants who arrived in Italy last year — and the reason the Italian government chose Sicily as the backdrop for this summit.

Kirton said Trump has demonstrated the ability to come to bilateral agreements, and it is possible that Taormina will yield deals for which he can claim credit at home. But his volatile style could upend even summit decisions.

"It is always possible the president will change his mind even before he lands in Washington and fire off some more tweets," Kirton said.

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