G7 ministers meet in person in London for the first time in two years

London, May 3, (dpa/GNA) - Ministers from the G7 countries were meeting in person for the first time in two years on Monday in London, with discussions including the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, a post-Brexit trade deal, Iran's nuclear programme and China.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab talked with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi ahead of the G7 meeting, where ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the US were to join.

Raab is also meeting one-on-one with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In his talks with Motegi, Raab discussed Britain's application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - a free trade agreement of mainly Pacific nations which includes Japan.

"The depth of the UK-Japan relationship is based around a shared outlook on democracy, free trade, tackling climate change, and security collaboration," Raab said in a statement.

"In my talks with Foreign Minister Motegi we discussed Japanese support for the UK’s application to join CPTPP, tackling climate change and COVID-19..."

Raab is also meeting one-on-one with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the afternoon before joining the other nations.

Members of the European Union are also attending the G7 event, and representatives from Australia, India, South Korea, South Africa and the chairman of the Association of South-East Asian Nations have been invited as guests.

Britain's Foreign Office said the ministers will also discuss plans to boost girls' education and women's employment while the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A 15-billion-dollar fund is being set up that will be administered to developing countries over the next two years.

The nations are signing up to new global targets that aim to get 40 million more girls into school and 20 million more girls reading by the age of 10 in low- and lower-middle income countries by 2026.

The face-to-face meeting is taking place ahead of a G7 summit planned for June in the English county of Cornwall.