Cyclists drive through the city centre near St Lambert's Church prior to a G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Muenster, Germany. AFP
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is expected to dominate the two-day meeting of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with his G7 counterparts in the western German city of Muenster, although China's increasingly assertive role in the world and protests in Iran will also be high on the agenda.
"This G7 ministerial is, for us, coming at an important time," a senior State Department official said, noting that the group "has been a vital coordinating mechanism" for policy approaches on the most pressing issues.
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Tuesday during a visit to Kyiv that the European Union, together with partners, was exploring ways to increase help for Ukraine's energy sector.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting. File photo
Ukraine needs specific equipment and tools to repair damage to its energy infrastructure, she said. Foreign companies should be urged to prioritise the transfer of energy equipment to Ukraine.
The G7 meeting, hosted by Germany, which holds the group's rotating presidency, will provide an opportunity for the world's richest democracies to discuss recent developments in China and security in the Indo Pacific after Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated his grip on power at a Communist Party Congress.
"The Foreign Ministers will discuss the situation in Taiwan... and how the G7 can strengthen partnerships with countries in the region," the British foreign ministry said in a statement.
G7 ministers are also likely to address German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent contentious decisions to allow Chinese shipping company Cosco to invest in a terminal in Hamburg port and pay a visit to Beijing on Friday.
Police patrol the city centre during preparations prior to the start of a G7 FMs' meeting in Muenster. AFP
Critics have accused Scholz of continuing to prioritize Germany's economic interests over broader security concerns in the face of an increasingly assertive authoritarian state as they say his predecessor, Angela Merkel, did with Russia.
The United States had "strongly suggested” that China have no controlling interest in the Hamburg port terminal, the senior U.S. State Department official said.
Germany did in the end decide to allow Cosco just a 24.9% stake in the terminal, down from an original bid for a 35% stake.
Germany has also invited Ghana, Kenya and the African Union to join the G7 meeting for discussions on climate change, infrastructure, defending democracy, and addressing conflict and humanitarian crises, the British foreign ministry said.
"We're doing more together in the so-called Global South, including in Africa," the senior State Department official said. "That'll be a feature of this discussion."
In February, the European Union restricted visas in certain categories for Russians linked to the Kremlin, including for officials, diplomatic passport holders and company bosses. But tourist visas were still permitted.
In statements released at the end of the three-day meeting on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, the G-7 pledged to provide further humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable.
The European Commission will on Tuesday propose to member states a new package of sanctions to punish President Vladimir Putin's Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine, including an embargo on Russian oil, officials said.
"We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime," the G7 said in a statement. "We will hold President Putin and those responsible to account."
The UAE mission to the Security Council stated through its account in X: “In light of our deep concern over Israel’s resumption of hostilities and the continuing deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the UAE urgently called for closed consultations for the Security Council on Monday, December 4.”
President noted that this year's Union Day comes as the UAE hosts the largest international event on environment and climate with high-level global participation.
The design contains the COP28 logo, the Dubai symbol and multiple climate symbols, to be used to stamp the passports of passengers arriving through Dubai airports.