G20 Summit, World leaders prepare for tough talks with Trump on climate
On Friday, 7th July 2017, as the Group of G-20 summit gets underway, leaders from the world’s top economies will try to bridge deep differences with U.S. President Donald Trump on climate change and trade amid the threat of violent protests.
The meeting comes during a time of tectonic shifts in the global geo-political landscape, with the “America First” policies of President Trump pushing Europe and China closer together.
On Friday afternoon, President Trump will meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin for the first time, The encounter will be intensely scrutinized following the allegations by the U.S. intelligence agencies that Moscow had meddled in the U.S. election in order for Trump to win.
The summit will also bring Chinese President XI Jinping alongside President Trump at a time when Washington is ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea after it test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile and threatening the Chinese with punitive trade measures.
Amid all the huge egos and intractable conflicts, the host of the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be facing the daunting task of steering leaders towards a consensus on trade, climate and migration. All the issues have become more contentious ever since Trump had entered the White House half a year ago.
Angela Merkel who is facing her own elections in two months, Chancellor Merkel on Thursday evening met with Trump for one hour at a hotel in Hamburg on to try to overcome the differences that the envoys so far have been unable to settle in weeks of intense talks, which included a last minute trip to Washington by the chancellor’s top economic adviser.
The two leaders had shaken hands and also smiled for the cameras, which was in contrast of the tension that hung over their first meeting in Washington in March and Trump’s first trip to Europe in May, a visit which had led the usually cautious Merkel to suggest that the United States was no longer a reliable partner.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati in a interview said “There is quite a delicate balance that Angela Merkel will have to navigate in a way, because it is not clear that being confrontational won’t just create even more of a credibility problem for G20 cooperation“
A senior official of Germany who is involved in the talks said that he expected negotiators would be working around the clock to try to break the deadlock before Saturday, the final day of the summit.
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