World leaders gather to talk tough issues at G20 summit
The bitter U.S.-China trade war and signs of slowdown in the global economy have overshadowed a two-day Group of 20 (G20) summit that kicked off in Osaka, western Japan, on June 28 with a session on the world economy and trade.
The trade feud and signs of a global slowdown have loomed over the two-day G20 summit in Osaka, where U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in passing and prepared for one-on-one talks on June 29.
This year’s summit addresses issues such as global economy, trade and investment, innovation, the environment and energy, employment, women’s empowerment, development, and health.
Many leaders of the world’s top 20 economies voiced concern over trade tensions and the risk they pose to global growth, but were at loggerheads on key issues such as World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, Japanese and Russian delegates said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the G20 leaders that the global economy is facing downside risks. “I want the G20 to share a determination to realize growth by employing all policy tools,” Abe said in his opening address to the summit in the port city of Osaka. He also urged the global leaders to deliver a “strong message” to support free, fair and indiscriminate trade, according to Kyodo news.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump held a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit. According to a Kremlin statement, the two leaders discussed the situations in Iran, Syria, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
“We will have a very interesting discussion, which will include such issues as trade, commerce, disarmament, protectionism, various other issues, and all this will be built on very good relations that we will have,” Trump said, starting the meeting with Putin.
Asked about whether he would warn Putin against interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections Trump said: “Yes, of course I will.” “Don’t meddle in the elections, please. Don’t meddle in the elections,” Trump added.
Erdoğan meets world leaders
The summit in Japan’s Osaka also witnessed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with world leaders to talk regional issues, including the situation in Syria and defense industry procurements.
Erdoğan met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and World Bank Chair David Malpass. Erdoğan is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Erdoğan is expected to meet with Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka on June 29 to discuss Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 defense system, which is expected to be delivered in July. The issues of Syria and proposed safe zone will also be on the agenda of the two leaders.
Ties between the NATO allies, the U.S. and Turkey, have been fragile in recent months, with Ankara set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system from Russia, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program. Turkey expects a softer tone from Trump and even an exemption from any possible congressional sanctions.