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G20 Summit: Terrorism, global trade and climate change top agenda for leaders

The Group of 20 summit is getting underway in Hamburg, despite massive protests, with terrorism, global trade and climate change among the issues on the agenda as leaders gather under tight security.

Demonstrators protest against the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Reuters

Demonstrators protest against the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Reuters

The G20 Summit began on Friday in the port city as world leaders assembled to discuss fight against terrorism and ways to improve open trade.

The host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the leaders to open the 12th G20 Summit, a separate meeting of BRICS leaders took place on the sidelines.

Fighting terrorism, climate change and global trade are expected to be the key areas of discussion at the two-day Summit, whose theme is 'Shaping an Inter-connected World'.

The meet is taking place at a time when differences have emerged among several leaders expected to be present mostly on publicly stated views of US President Donald Trump, including on issues like climate change and open trade.


Merkel, said she hoped the leaders would be able to find "compromises and answers" on a wide range of issues although the prospects of finding common ground on climate change and trade were uncertain.

Merkel is also hoping to keep things under control inside the city congress center where the summit is being held. With guests including US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the search for compromises is expected to be challenging.

Merkel said leaders would address regulating financial markets, fighting terrorism and pandemics and combatting climate change, among other issues. She said "free, rule-based and fair trade" will be an important issue.

"You can imagine that there will be discussions that will not be easy," she said. "Globalization can be a win-win situation. It must not always be that there are winners and losers."

In the wake of Trump's recent decision to pull out of the Paris deal fighting climate change, the battle against global warming promises to feature prominently in discussions at the summit.

Merkel has rejected calls from some to push for a strong "G-19" statement without the US. — on climate change. That is something that Zhu Guangyao, a Chinese deputy finance minister, told reporters Thursday that Beijing also did not support.

Still, he added, "China will firmly promote its policies taking more measures against climate change."

Many other groups are calling for peaceful protests and are pushing the G-20 leaders for action to fight climate change and address economic disparities in the world. Some are even calling for the dissolution of the G-20 itself so the United Nations becomes the platform for such discussions.

Meantime, more than 100,000 protesters are expected in Hamburg for the summit, with some 8,000 considered part of Europe's violent left-wing scene.

The northern port city has boosted its police with reinforcements from around the country and has 20,000 officers on hand to patrol Hamburg's streets, skies and waterways.

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 14:23 PM

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