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G7 leaders seek common front on Russian Federation stand-off

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Chrystia Freeland

And all the G7 partners remain anxious for clues as to how the unpredictable United States leader will handle a planned disarmament summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

"We shared the view that (the North's announcement) made no reference to the abandonment of (the North's) nuclear program", Kono told reporters.

The ministers also discussed North Korea. "We welcome it as a positive step".

Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the top US diplomat, has not yet been confirmed in his post so the United States will be represented in Toronto by acting Secretary of State John Sullivan.

The North Korea meeting will be followed by one of the so-called "Quad" - the United States plus France, Britain and Germany, the Western partners who, with Russian Federation and China, signed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The remarks were in line with Trump's assertion that previous administrations gave Pyongyang too many concessions despite the country not abandoning its nuclear weapon ambitions.

Canada and Japan signed a military co-operation agreement on Saturday that will allow each other's militaries to share equipment during joint exercises.

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The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Canada said that the Agreement on acquisition and cross-use will allow the Armed forces of both countries "to exchange products and services such as: food, water, fuel, fix services, spare parts and components, transportation, clothing, communication and medical services - use training and warehouse space, as well as sea and air ports". The G-7 meeting runs until Tuesday and will also include security ministers.

With Trump threatening to withdraw the United States if an agreement to revamp the deal can not be reached before the May 12 deadline set by the US leader, Kono said "many ministers" sought "continuous and complete implementation" of the deal.

Trump has threatened to tear the agreement up unless European capitals agree to supplement it with tougher controls on Iran's missile program and future ability to return to nuclear fuel enrichment.

The G7 members, including frontline state Japan, support efforts to convince Kim to end his efforts to develop a strategic nuclear missile arsenal, but are also keen to hear more from the U.S. side.

The military action by the United States, Britain and France came after the alleged use by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime of chemical weapons on Syrian citizens.

He said the G-7 nations should support initiatives by Myanmar and Bangladesh to improve the situation in the crisis-hit Rakhine State in western Myanmar.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, U.S. Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono pose for a group photo during the meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 22, 2018.

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