Speaking to G7 counterparts, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss underscored “the need to come together strongly to stand up to aggressors who are seeking to limit the bounds of freedom and democracy.”
The United Kingdom has voiced concerns about threats from Russia and China and urged the West and its allies to unite against authoritarianism.
“We need to come together strongly to stand up to aggressors who are seeking to limit the bounds of freedom and democracy,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told G7 counterparts on Saturday as she formally opened the talks.
“To do this, we need to have a fully united voice. We need to expand our economic and security posture around the world.”
The two-day gathering of foreign ministers from the world’s richest nations in Liverpool, northwest England, is the last in-person gathering of Britain’s year-long G7 presidency, before it hands over the baton to Germany.
Russia’s build-up of troops on Ukraine’s border is top of the agenda, alongside discussions on confronting China, limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions and addressing the crisis in military-ruled Myanmar.
Truss held talks on the sidelines of the summit on Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as Germany’s new Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Truss said before the meeting that she wanted deeper ties between G7 nations in trade, investment, technology and security “so we can defend and advance freedom and democracy across the world”.
“I will be pushing that point over the next few days,” she added.
Truss, who replaced Dominic Raab as Britain’s top diplomat in September, delivered her first major foreign policy address Wednesday as crises loom around the world.
She warned Moscow it would be “a strategic mistake” to invade Ukraine, following growing concerns over a big Russian troop build-up on the border.
Blinken flies on to Southeast Asia next week on a visit designed to highlight the region’s importance in Washington’s strategy of standing up to an increasingly assertive China in the region.
Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will join the G7 summit for the first time ever on Sunday, in a session earmarked for wide-ranging talks on issues including Covid-19 vaccines, finance and gender equality.
South Korea, Australia, South Africa and India will also participate as Britain’s chosen G7 “guests”, with many attendees taking part virtually due to the pandemic and emergence of the Omicron variant.