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Balance of Power: Tension in Sicily

Donald Trump has saved the worst for last on his first foreign trip.

The U.S. president is in Sicily today for a G-7 summit that will involve exactly the kinds of lengthy multi-lateral debates he most dislikes. He seems happier with things like the arms-for-investment deal he struck in Saudi Arabia at the start of the trip.

Things have become chillier since then. He told NATO leaders yesterday that they were cheapskates -- he even gave one of them a little shove as they milled around for a family photo. Angela Merkel did not look impressed.

The G-7's Italian hosts are trying to make sure Trump’s first summit passes without a major bust-up. They've focused the meeting on counter-terrorism, which is something all seven can agree on after the recent bombing in Manchester.

Still, this G-7 is less predictable than most, because the big issues usually agreed long in advance remain unresolved. No one knows what the U.S. stance on climate change is, while there is a six-to-one dispute over the meaning and value of free trade. Trump’s the minority. For Europe, the next 3 ½ years are starting to feel like an eternity.

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President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave after arriving in Sigonella, Sicily, on May 25, 2017.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wave after arriving in Sigonella, Sicily, on May 25, 2017.
Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

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Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers scuffle at the Upper House's ad hoc committee session for the controversial security bills at the National Diet in Tokyo on September 17, 2015.
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Photographer: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
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