G-7 leaders take time out to let the love in

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre) speaks with US President Barack Obama (centre, left) during a meeting at the G7 summit in Japan, May 27. (From left to right) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande, British Pri
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre) speaks with US President Barack Obama (centre, left) during a meeting at the G7 summit in Japan, May 27. (From left to right) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council President Donald Tusk and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.PHOTO: EPA

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.