Saudi prince in Argentina as G20 summit tensions brew

01 December, 2018, 14:42 | Author: Kevin Carter
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The leaders - 35 men and two women - posed for the "family photograph" traditionally taken at G20 gatherings, before heading to the plenary chamber room for initial round-table discussions, to be followed by a series of one-to-one conversations between leaders in the center's maze of meeting rooms. If we can make a deal that'd be good.

"In relation to Mr Khashoggi, we want to see a full and transparent investigation of what happened and those responsible being held to account", she said.

Asked about the European concerns, a USA official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.

G20 leaders including the presidents of the United States, Russia and China opened summit talks on Friday (Nov 30) stalked by the deepest divisions in the group's 10-year history.

Argentina has deployed around 25,000 police officers and soldiers to prevent violence similar to that seen during last year's G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, when hundreds of police officers were injured.

One bright spot in Buenos Aires on Friday before the summit opened was the signing of a revised US-Mexico-Canada trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Earlier this month, officials from countries attending a major Asia-Pacific summit failed to issue a joint statement for the first time after the US delegation clashed with China over trade and security.

Trump tweeted that in the wake of the seizure of Ukrainian ships and crews in the Black Sea by Russian Federation, it would be best for all parties concerned to nix the meeting.

The decision also follows the USA president's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump property deal in Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

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Reports on November 29 out of Washington that China-hawk Peter Navarro will be present during the meeting, and Trump's own statements before boarding the plane to Argentina, suggest that an amicable outcome from the meeting between the two leaders may be increasingly unlikely.

He nevertheless described the Macri-Trump meeting as "extremely cordial" overall. The Kremlin said it was willing to be "patient" in arranging a meeting with Trump. Oil prices have slid in recent weeks on concerns of softening global growth caused by the US-China trade war.

The Trump administration has come under certain fire for its perceived willingness to look the other way on the gruesome murder to maintain ties with a crucial Middle Eastern ally and big buyer of United States armaments.

Also looming large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires was the gruesome slaying of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate and the participation at the summit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is alleged to have ordered the killing. "So I really don't know", the President said before departing Washington.

Saudi officials have blamed the killing on rogue agents and denied the crown prince had knowledge of the operation.

Macron also called for worldwide involvement and "complete clarity" in investigations into the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said European leaders should discuss it at a meeting today.

"This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever", Trump said at the signing ceremony in Buenos Aires.

As the leaders sat down for the summit plenary, Russian President Vladimir Putin and bin Salman - both arriving at the meeting under a cloud - greeted each other with an enthusiastic, thumping handshake that resembled a high-five, and hearty laughter. However, it is being reported that Ms Merkel still plans to have her one-on-one with Mr Putin, with the pair set to meet on Saturday morning.

Putin was the only leader to exchange an openly cordial greeting with the isolated Saudi prince, high-fiving him when he entered the main summit room, news reports said.


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