ISE-SHIMA, Japan (AFP) - A meeting of Group of Seven (G-7) leaders awkwardly transformed into an out-take from a romantic comedy as US President Barack Obama professed the group's "love" for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in turn found time to give Italian Premier Matteo Renzi a playful squeeze.
In between talks that focused on the global economy and terrorism, the US president on Friday (May 27) assured a German photographer that the less-than-expressive Merkel was top in his book.
Clasping Dr Merkel's hand, Mr Obama declared: "We love your chancellor".
The day before, Germany's sometimes undemonstrative leader wrapped her arm around the waist of the dashing Italian premier, as the group gazed at the view from a rooftop terrace.
Mr Renzi was locked in a decidedly unofficial race with Canada's pin-up prime minister Justin Trudeau over who was the biggest hunk at the summit.
Japanese media and a growing legion of female fans have been swooning over the 44-year-old Canadian leader, who celebrated his wedding anniversary on Wednesday by taking the day off to spend it with wife Sophie.