The conflict between Israel and Hamas is set to take center stage when the G7 foreign ministers gather for a two-day meeting in Tokyo this week.
The top diplomats will hold talks Tuesday and Wednesday, as Japan, which holds this year’s G7 presidency, aims to further align the bloc’s responses to Israel’s war on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip amid growing calls for a humanitarian pause in the fighting.
The Group of Seven (G7) bloc of wealthy democracies risks eroding its relevance as a force to tackle major geopolitical crises over an apparent struggle between its member nations to agree on a firm, united approach to Israel’s war in Gaza.
Foreign ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the European Union and the United States meet in Tokyo this week to discuss the conflict, which several global powers have warned could spiral and engulf the Middle East.
The G7 was initially set up half a century ago to discuss global economic problems, but its scope has since broadened to represent the collective voice of major industrialised countries’ on political and security issues.
While the group in recent years has shown unity in sanctioning Russia over its conflict with Ukraine calling out so-called ‘economic coercion’ from China, they have not moved in lock step over the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Since the conflict erupted, the G7 has issued just one joint statement on the conflict amounting to a few sentences. Other group members have issued joint statements.
G7 divisions have also been evident at the United Nations, with France voting in favour of a resolution calling for a humanitarian truce in the conflict on Oct 26, the U.S. opposing it and the group’s other members abstaining.