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EU leaders outline positions ahead of G7 summit
Last Updated: 2017-05-26 00:00 | Xinhua
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European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker called for unity on Friday ahead of the 43rd summit of leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations.

"This will be the most challenging summit in years," Tusk said at a joint press conference with Juncker.

"It is no secret that we have differing views on climate change and trade ... (but) unity must be preserved in face of global threats."

The European leader cited the ongoing civil war in Syria and the nuclear ambitions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) among the destabilizing situations around the world.

He called on Iran and Russia to help put an end to the Syrian war and provide safe and legal passage for the Middle Eastern country's millions of refugees.

"If our group is not determined and united enough, the global situation could really get out of hand," Tusk warned.

When asked about the issue of immigration, he said: "We must hold to the position that migration is a global issue," and G7 countries must be united in dealing with it.

Tusk also said the EU supports the "full implementation of the Minsk agreements" which aim to bring a lasting peace to Ukraine, and that the Paris Agreement on climate change must be fully implemented.

Juncker echoed Tusk's words on climate change. He also said the EU stands for "freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."

"As Europeans we believe in open societies and we wish to build bridges not walls," said Juncker.

A two-day G7 summit kicked off on Friday in the Sicilian town of Taormina. The heads of state of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, plus the EU are expected to talk about anti-terrorism, immigration and other pressing topics.

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