Putin awarded China's first ever friendship medal

The pair collapsed in Salisbury earlier this year and were in critical condition for weeks before recovering

Conte's decision to side with the USA may irritate his European allies, who have so far declined to make any overtures to Russian Federation - though previous Italian governments have expressed hopes that Russian Federation would one day return, as has Japan.

Conte was commenting from the G7 summit in Canada, where the leaders of Italy, France, Germany, the UK, Japan, Canada and the United States are gathered for top-level talks.

Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state - a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to United Nations sanctions.

US President Donald Trump last month announced that the US was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration in 2015 under which Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear activities and allow in global inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

He signalled he wanted better relations with the USA, and said he welcomed Trump's call to allow Russian Federation back into the G7 group of leading industrialised nations.

Meanwhile, Putin and Trump have mentioned Vienna as a possible venue for their summit, but no decision has been made, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Qingdao yesterday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga attend a trilateral meeting in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, June 9, 2018.

Trump Signals Support for Legislation Easing US Ban on Marijuana
SHAPIRO: But this is hardly the first time the president and his attorney general have disagreed on something. My view is clear: "The federal law remains in effect nationwide, just as it does for heroin and cocaine".

"Russia has done nothing to earn its way back to the table", Donilon also said.

He said a meeting could take place as soon as the United States was ready and that many European countries had offered their help in making it happen.

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin China's first friendship medal on Friday, calling him his best friend, underscoring the close ties between the two despite deep reservations many Western nations have of Putin.

Later in the day, Presidents Xi and Putin joined other ministers of state from both countries to watch a friendly hockey match between the Chinese and Russian national teams.

The country was expelled from what was then called the G8 after it annexed Crimea. "I think it would be good for all of the countries of the current G7", Trump said.

The president's move to reject the communique contradicted a statement from Trudeau earlier, in which the prime minister announced "we have released a joint communique by all seven countries".

"For Putin, this is return on his investment, and it's safe to say that his investment has paid off beyond even his wildest dreams". The English-language Twitter of account of the Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper posted photos of a tense scene in La Malbaie, Quebec, and another of Xi and Putin smiling, with the caption, "G7 vs SCO: two meetings on the same day".

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