Biarritz, France, Aug 27 (AFP/APP):Like Superman disguised as the mild-mannered Clark Kent, Donald Trump showed his tamer side at the G7 — but the maverick showman expected by the world didn’t take long to burst back out.
Before the summit in France’s Biarritz, speculation was rife over how Trump might blow up proceedings.
At last year’s session in Canada, he withdrew his signature from the closing statement and rowed over trade with host Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But this time, he largely shelved trade-war threats against his Western allies and announced a stunning pause in his aggressive push on Iran by offering to meet his Iranian counterpart.
Having been seen glowering at previous international events, he beamed during every photo op on the French coast and marvelled at the architecture and organisation.
“Nobody wanted to leave,” said the US president, who could barely stop praising French President Emmanuel Macron.
“You have been a spectacular leader,” he said at their joint press conference closing the three-day affair.
An impromptu lunch — the secret weapon of French diplomacy — appeared to coax forth the New York tycoon’s softer side.
“It was the two of us: no staff, no anything,” Trump said. “We were just trying to impress each other.”
Trump and Macron said au revoir Monday with a firm handshake that became a hug, then prolonged gripping of hands and a second round of handshaking and hugging.