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G-7 foreign ministers discuss terrorism

April 10, 2016

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven top industrialized nations have met in the Japanese city of Hiroshima which was once destroyed by a US atomic bomb. Japan hopes to send a message of nonproliferation and peace.

Foreign Ministers of the G7 states at their meeting in Hiroshima, Japan (Photo: Reuters)
Image: Reuters/J. Ernst

The foreign ministers talked about how the G-7 "can lead the global response to terrorism," British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday, according to Japan's Kyodo news agency. The two-day talks came in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on March 22.

The G-7 bloc is made up of Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

"Supporting the UN secretary general's initiative to counter violent extremism, working bilaterally to exchange more information between our intelligence and security services, working together to cut off the flow of finance and propaganda means for international terrorist organizations, these are all important steps," Hammond said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived late due to aircraft problems at departure and missed most of Sunday's first session.

Migration crisis on the table

In Hiroshima, the foreign ministers also discussed the migration crisis in Europe. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the importance of mutual cooperation between the G-7 states to tackle the refugee crisis, according to Japanese officials.

The ministers are also expected to talk about nuclear disarmament and maritime security. The Hiroshima meeting comes amid increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula because of communist North Korea's nuclear ambitions and China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea. On Saturday, North Korea claimed it had carried out successful ground tests of a new engine for its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima (Photo: Reuters)
The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima: The US nuclear bomb killed 140,000 people in HiroshimaImage: Reuters/I. Kato

Kishida expressed his hope that the meeting in Hiroshima, a city devastated by a US atomic bombing in 1945, would be an opportunity "to send a strong message toward a world without nuclear weapons." His hometown, Hiroshima, has risen back as a symbol of peace and nuclear disarmament.

The foreign ministers are scheduled to visit the Hiroshima Memorial Park, including John Kerry, the first US secretary of state to visit the atom-bombed Japanese city.

Japan also hopes the ministers will issue a separate "Hiroshima declaration" on nuclear nonproliferation, in addition to the usual communiqué.

The two-day Hiroshima meeting is a run-up to the annual G-7 summit, which will be held in Japan in May.

das/jlw (dpa, AP)