Trump, Morrison discuss Hong Kong, G7

US President Donald Trump discussed the WHO's pandemic response with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
US President Donald Trump discussed the WHO's pandemic response with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed Hong Kong, the World Health Organisation's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and September's G7 summit during their latest call.

The White House released details on Tuesday of the leaders' chat, which included the president extending an invitation to Mr Morrison to attend September's G7 meeting at Camp David in Maryland.

"President Trump thanked Prime Minister Morrison for his leadership in calling for an independent investigation of the World Health Organisation's handling of the coronavirus pandemic," White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

"The two leaders also discussed issues of mutual concern including Hong Kong, strengthening the global economy, and the G7 Summit."

Mr Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have repeatedly publicly showered praise on Australia in recent weeks as the Trump administration criticised China for not doing enough to control the spread of COVID-19, bullying other countries and threatening Hong Kong's autonomy.

The G7 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.

Mr Trump also wants Russia, South Korea and India to attend the G7.

The meeting was scheduled to take place next month, but the pandemic forced it to be pushed back to September.

Mr Morrison attended last year's G7 meeting as a special observer at the invitation of French president Emmanuel Macron.

"Participation at the G7 for the second year in a row will give Australia another significant opportunity to promote our interests during highly uncertain times in the global economy," a spokesman for the prime minister said.

"It's important for Australians that we are there."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's attendance.

"Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out," Trudeau told reporters.

September's G7 will take place just weeks before Mr Trump contests the November 3 presidential election.

Australian Associated Press