Close partners in times of crisis: G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Tokyo

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sitting at a table with the G7 Foreign Ministers

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock with the G7 Foreign Ministers in Tokyo, © dpa

08.11.2023 - Article

Coordination within the Group of Seven – all strong democracies with shared values – is more important than ever in times of dangerous conflicts. Foreign Minister Baerbock is travelling to the Japanese capital. Read on to learn more about the meeting.

Japan took over the G7 Presidency from Germany at the start of the year. Now towards the end of Japan’s Presidency, the next Foreign Ministers Meeting is taking place in Tokyo on 7 and 8 November 2023. Current geopolitical issues and crises will be on the agenda. Naturally, this includes the Middle East conflict, as well as Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, where tensions are increasing.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

The G7 has evolved into a dynamic engine which is working together to drive things forward in North America, Europe, Asia and beyond: we are in the process of steering 600 billion US dollars into key global infrastructure investment. We have increased the funding for the World Bank and the IMF in order to give our partners alternatives to China’s financial instruments. However, we also have to gain more trust from countries in South America, Africa and Asia. I want us as the G7 to place ourselves at the forefront of those who want to make the international order fairer and more sustainable and who want to further develop it in this way. To achieve this, it is above all important that we listen carefully to the concerns of our global partners.

The first issue to be discussed at the meeting will be the current situation in the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

As the G7, we have condemned Hamas’ abominable acts of terror and we underscore Israel’s right to defend itself within the parameters of international law. We are deeply concerned about the disastrous plight of men, women and children in the Gaza Strip. As the G7, we provide around two thirds of the funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). We are thus the key donors for humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians, and have been for many years.

The Foreign Minister will call on other financially strong donors to provide more assistance for UNRWA. The next steps will also be discussed in Tokyo:

We will discuss how we can now pull together to ensure that humanitarian pauses are implemented in order to alleviate the suffering of people in Gaza. To me, it is clear that the Hamas terrorists have brought untold suffering to Israel and the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza with the horrific attacks of 7 October. Hamas must not be allowed to determine the fate of people in the Gaza Strip.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine also remains at the very top of the G7 agenda. For there is much at stake there for Europe and the entire world. It is crucial now not to ease up support for Ukraine in its fight to defend itself.

The increasing tensions in the Indo-Pacific region and how to deal with China will also be addressed in the working sessions.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:

There is a harsh wind blowing in the Indo-Pacific region. At the same time, the region is becoming ever more influential, both economically and politically. Strong economic and political forces are now clashing with each other there. Japan has rightly made this the focus of its Presidency. Since 24 February 2022, we have learned a painful lesson, namely that aggressive rhetoric or fantasy maps can become a dangerous reality. Today we have to work together to ensure that no new theatres of war emerge whose shockwaves would have a considerable impact on us all.

The informal nature of the G7 meeting enables the Ministers to have a very close exchange based on mutual trust. On the margins of the meeting, Foreign Minister Baerbock is also scheduled to have bilateral talks with colleagues, including the Japanese Foreign Minister and host Yoko Kamikawa.

Italy is due to take over the G7 Presidency from Japan at the end of the year.


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