All foreign ministers of the G7 rich countries Monday convened in London for the first in-person meeting in two years as world powers seek a way of bouncing back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to deal with China and Russia.

With Britain hosting this year’s meeting as a yearly routine among the member-states, the ministers will lay the groundwork for U.S. President Joe Biden’s first scheduled trip abroad since taking office for a G7 summit in England next month.

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Asides from the G7 nations; Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Britain, other non-members including Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea have been invited to join later Monday evening for a dinner.

Before the dinner, British host Dominic Raab and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to meet to discuss shared goals particularly on Biden’s willingness to re-engage with global efforts to fight climate change and to reenter a nuclear deal with Iran which was rescinded by Trump in 2018.

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Raab earlier on Sunday said the G7 would look at a proposal to build a rapid response mechanism to counter Russian disinformation, and, in a reference to China, spoke of the need to stand up for open markets and democracy.

“On all of these areas we want to be absolutely firm, and standing shoulder to shoulder not just with Americans, as important as they are, but also with our wider allies – that’s why the G7 is so important,” the British diplomat had said.

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