G20 Summit in Buenos Aires: In night-long talks, possible 'breakthrough' on fixing global trading system

All-night talks at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit resulted in a possible 'breakthrough' on fixing the global trading system, European diplomats said Saturday.

The Associated Press December 01, 2018 21:15:37 IST
G20 Summit in Buenos Aires: In night-long talks, possible 'breakthrough' on fixing global trading system

Buenos Aires: All-night talks at the Group of 20 summit have resulted in a possible "breakthrough" on fixing the global trading system, European diplomats said Saturday as the gathering entered its crucial second and final day in the Argentine capital.

Despite deep divisions going into the summit and resistance from the United States, European Union officials said countries also are making progress on a final statement that will acknowledge problems with the World Trade Organisation but commit to reforming it.

US president Donald Trump has criticized the WTO and taken aggressive trade policies targeting China and the EU.

One EU official told reporters that the G20 summit's final statement is likely to reflect 19 members supporting the Paris climate accord with the US stating its opposition to it.

G20 Summit in Buenos Aires In nightlong talks possible breakthrough on fixing global trading system

Leaders during the G20 summit on Friday. Twitter/@PIBIndia

The official said the US delegation also held up discussion of how to manage refugees and migrants, but that the final statement is expected to mention the need to manage migration on a global level.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing closed-door discussions.

Saturday 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 US 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, signing a pact with Mexico and Canada to replace the North American Trade Agreement.

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.

On Friday, a US official said progress was being made on the joint statement and the White House was "optimistic" about the document as a whole.

Laura Jaitman, the Argentine Treasury official shepherding the G20's financing talks, said leaders had made progress on finance and trade and was hopeful a joint statement would be possible. "There's a very positive message of how trade has been an engine of growth for the next decades and how it will continue in the future providing benefits for all citizens," Jaitman said.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said the final communique does not require the signature of presidents.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri kicked off the summit by acknowledging divisions within the G20 while urging world leaders to have a "sense of urgency" and take actions "based on shared interests."

Also Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk urged G20 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 the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia and Ukraine have traded blame over the incident — which Trump cited in canceling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G20. Russia's foreign minister regretted the move, but said "love can't be forced."

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.

As soon as he arrived, bin Salman was confronted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who pressed him on the Khashoggi investigation and the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has denied that bin Salman played a role, but US intelligence agencies concluded he ordered the killing.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

China's dream of becoming a football power by 2050 totters on shaky foundations
Sports

China's dream of becoming a football power by 2050 totters on shaky foundations

A more frugal Super League is expected to kick off in the spring but with coronavirus concerns persisting, the CFA is yet to announce a start date.

Russia warns US 'not to play with fire' on sanctions over Alexei Navalny's poisoning
World

Russia warns US 'not to play with fire' on sanctions over Alexei Navalny's poisoning

The Biden administration imposed sanctions on Russian officials on Tuesday in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of the Kremlin critic

Xi Jinping declares 'complete victory' in eradicating absolute poverty in China
World

Xi Jinping declares 'complete victory' in eradicating absolute poverty in China

At a gathering in Beijing, Xi claimed that over 10 million poor people were lifted out of poverty on average each year since he came to power in 2012