Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven nations are planning to hold talks later this month in New York on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly to reaffirm their unity amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.
The first foreign ministerial meeting of “Partners in the Blue Pacific,” a U.S.-led initiative aimed at stepping up engagement with Pacific island countries, is also under arrangement there, the sources said.
The top diplomats of the Quad group consisting of Japan, the United States, Australia and India are expected to gather as well during the period of the U.N. main policymaking organ’s annual session that began Tuesday and scheduled to last about two weeks, they added.
The series of meetings would come as Russia’s prolonged war on Ukraine is testing the solidarity of the G-7 states implementing severe economic sanctions on Moscow since late February, while China has intensified its military activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Along with a freeze on assets held by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the punitive steps include a U.S. embargo on petroleum imports from Russia and a phase-out by the European Union and Japan, triggering global oil price hikes. Russia is a major oil producer.
Foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, would get together in person for the first time since May, if the meeting is realized.
The Partners in the Blue Pacific framework, composed of five nations, was launched in June in an apparent counter to China, with the Asian power trying to boost economic and military cooperation with Pacific island countries.
The United States, Australia, Britain, Japan and New Zealand have all pledged to pursue “more effective and efficient” ways to deal with challenges such as “growing pressure on the rules-based free and open international order.”
In addition, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi is likely to meet with his U.S. and South Korean counterparts Antony Blinken and Park Jin to discuss North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats, according to the sources.
Hayashi is also expected to join gatherings on the novel coronavirus pandemic and global food supply, while meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, Germany and India to talk about the issue of U.N. Security Council reform, the sources said.
The four countries, including Japan, have been keen to become permanent members of the world body’s 15-member decision-making organ, seen as dysfunctional in the wake of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Russia is one of its five permanent members.
Hayashi has also expressed willingness to meet bilaterally with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the U.N. event. The last in-person foreign ministerial talks between the two neighbors were held in November 2020.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, meanwhile, said Wednesday that he is slated to leave Japan on Monday to participate in the U.N. assembly session.