The Group of 20 summit enters its crucial second and final day Saturday with hours left for diplomats to bridge divisions on major issues including world trade, climate change and tackling migration. The day will also see a highly anticipated meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose nations have been embroiled in an escalating trade war with new U.S. tariffs on China goods set to take effect a month from now.
The divisions among the world’s leading economies were evident from the moment Argentina’s president opened the summit Friday with a call for international cooperation to solve the planet’s problems. Trump sought to use the gathering to make his own trade deals. Meanwhile, two men under heavy criticism from the West lately — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — appeared to seek refuge in each other, bonding with a tough-guy hand grab as the leaders sat down around a huge round table for talks.
Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires. Argentina’s security minister said eight gasoline bombs were discovered in an area of the capital several miles from the summit venue where a protest in the afternoon drew thousands of demonstrators who held up banners with slogans like “Go away G-20” and “Go away Trump.”
Diplomats from the G-20 countries were haggling hard over a final joint statement, with disagreement over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization. Two European officials involved in the discussions said the U.S. was stymieing progress on both. So an unorthodox solution emerged: Because of resistance from the Trump administration, an official in the French president’s office said the statement may have language that sets the US apart. For example, a draft says 19 of the participants agree on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the US doesn’t. Read more
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