International Desk: France and Germany have quit talks on reforming the World Health Organization in frustration due to the attempts by the United States to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO, three officials informed.
The move is a setback for President Donald Trump as Washington, which holds the rotating chair of the G7, had hoped to issue a common roadmap for a sweeping overhaul of the WHO in September, two months before the U.S. presidential election.
“Nobody wants to be dragged into a reform process and getting an outline for it from a country which itself just left the WHO,” a senior European official involved in the talks said.
The German and French health ministries confirmed that the two countries were against the United States leading the talks after announcing their intention to leave the organization.
A spokesman for the Italian health ministry said that work on the reform document was still underway, adding that Italy’s position was in line with Paris and Berlin.
Asked about the position of France and Germany, a senior Trump administration official said: “All members of the G7 explicitly supported the substance of the WHO reform ideas.”
U.S. officials have not said what reforms Washington has sought. But an initial reform roadmap proposed by Washington was seen by many of its allies as too critical, with one European official involved in the negotiations describing it as “rude”.