International Development News
Development News Edition

Diplomats struggle for agreement on G-20 summit statement

Buenos Aires, Nov 30 (AP) Diplomats from the Group of 20 countries were haggling hard over a final summit statement Friday, with deep divisions over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organisation, according to two European officials involved in the discussions.

Facing the prospect of a no-statement summit, European delegations were trying to create a common front and may come out with their own separate declaration if they can't get the US or others on board.

European leaders were meeting in the morning at the summit venue in the Argentine capital to stake out common positions on trade, climate and the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

France is seeking to build coalitions on certain issues or "ad hoc partnerships" to try to salvage the spirit of the G-20 even if all countries can't agree, according to a French official.

The officials weren't authorised to be named speaking about the closed-door discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The G-20 was supposed to focus on issues like development, infrastructure and investment, but as the gathering officially kicked off, those themes seem like afterthoughts, overshadowed by contentious matters from the US-China trade dispute to the conflict over Ukraine.

European Council President Donald Tusk urged G-20 leaders to discuss "trade wars, the tragic situation in Syria and Yemen and Russian aggression in Ukraine."

He said the European Union is expected to extend sanctions on Moscow over its "totally unacceptable" seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crews near Crimea.

"Europe is united in its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Tusk said, calling the standoff "a cause of great concern."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Buenos Aires on Friday morning, is among the leaders involved.

Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over the ship incident.

Also expected to loom large amid dozens of bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires: the gruesome slaying of Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate and how the Saudi crown prince, who is alleged to have ordered the killing, is received by world leaders.

He didn't mention the killing itself, but stressed the importance of the "basic safety of journalists" and said "it's our obligation to press our partners to respect these basic principles."

Saudi Arabia has denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role, but some leaders may be cool toward him to avoid seeming to legitimize a man who US intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing.

US President Donald Trump's administration has made clear it does not want to torpedo the longstanding US relationship with Riyadh, however.

It is the prince's first significant appearance overseas since the killing.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia over the incident, is also in attendance.

Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico met in the morning to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners.

Trump called the pact known the USMCA a "model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever."

It must still be ratified by lawmakers in all three countries, and passage in the US could face a tough road in the House of Representatives after Democrats won a majority in November midterm elections.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, whose six-year term ends Saturday, said the deal modernises the trade framework, highlights a need for economic integration in North America and protects labour rights and the environment.

Trade agreements should "move along with the economy," Pena Nieto said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Trump to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying they remain a major economic obstacle.

Trump met in the morning with summit host and Argentine President Mauricio Macri at the presidential palace known as the Casa Rosada, or Pink House.

Posing for photos in a gilded salon, Trump spoke about their longtime personal relationship and said they would discuss trade, military purchases and other issues.

An expected high-profile bilateral meeting between Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin planned for Saturday was abruptly cancelled by Trump the previous day in a tweet citing Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels over the weekend.

Russian news agencies quoted Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the cancellation means Putin will have more time for "useful meetings."

Trump was still scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but analysts were not optimistic about prospects for a major breakthrough on the two countries' trade disputes a month before US tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was supposed to get in to Buenos Aires early Friday, but her arrival was delayed when her plane suffered a technical problem and returned to Germany on Thursday night.

Merkel's office said Friday that she and a small delegation, including the finance minister, took a different government plane to Madrid and then boarded a commercial flight to Buenos Aires.

The British Embassy in Argentina said Prime Minister Theresa May's visit would be the first by a UK prime minister to Argentina's capital. (AP)




(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



How music can help expectant mothers during pregnancy

Music provides pleasant ambience for all but its more important for expectant mothers as besides ensuring pleasant environment for them it also directly and indirectly influences the unborn babies. There are various scientific findings to c...

EdTech: A technical approach to flexible and cost-effective education

Its hight time for the world to go for innovative approaches like e-learning over traditional learning methods that need physical infrastructure, long-term planning, and huge investment. ...

Our school campaigns are our strongest ally: Joaquin Antuna, founder of Peace and Cooperation

Joaquin Antuna is the founder of Peace and Cooperation, a Spanish NGO which was nominated as peace messenger by the United Nations in 1986. Antuna is of very firm opinion that in order to have an incisive impact on the community we live in,...

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....


Latest News

UPDATE 2-Trade worries push European shares to worst day in three weeks

European shares logged their worst day in three weeks on Wednesday on mounting worries that rising U.S.-China tensions could take a toll on trade negotiations between the two countries. The pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.4, with Londons F...

CCEA approves amendments to 'Toll Operate Transfer' model for national highways

The government on Wednesday approved amendments proposed to the Toll Operate Transfer TOT model for national highways. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs CCEA has given its approval to the amendments proposed in the TOT model by the ...

Hindutva bodies warn Sena, BJP against tying up with NCP, Cong

A group of Hindutva organizations here on Wednesday warned of launching a campaign against Shiv Sena and BJP if any of the two parties join hands with Congress and NCP to form a government in Maharashtra. Talking to reporters here, Samasta ...

Report: Chiefs WR Hill nursing minor hamstring injury

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is considered day-to-day with a hamstring injury, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday. Hill sustained his injury early in the first quarter of Kansas Citys 24-17 victory over the ...

Give Feedback