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G20 leader arrives in Argentina, talking about communique “very very hard”

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The G20 members still struggled to reach agreement on key issues, including trade, migration and climate…

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The G20 members still struggled to reach agreement on key issues, including trade, migration and climate change that world leaders began to arrive in Buenos Aires before a summit that begins Friday.

People talk to the members of Argentina’s national gendarmery in a safe area, before the 20th Buenos Aires, Argentina November 29, 201

8 meeting. REUTERS / Marcos Brindicci

“This is not a good year for multilateralism,” said a German government source about talks about a final communique that leaders are due to issue at the end of their meeting on Saturday. The negotiations are “very difficult,” said the official to Reuters.

The official offered no details about the dispute, but global trade tensions, driven by President Donald Trump’s launch of a trade war against China, are expected to dominate this year’s G20 meeting, an uncomfortable club of the world’s industrialized countries.

Trumps skepticism of artificial global warming has also raised questions about what the communion will say about the issue.

This year’s G20 gathering in the Argentine capital is expected to be one of the following summits since the group’s leaders first met in 2008 to plan how to contain the economic crisis that disturbs the earth.

The financial and commodity markets closely follow the outcome of the summit, especially the planned meeting between Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping on Saturday.

“After 2-1 / 2-day calls and very short nights, about two-thirds of the pieces have become ok,” said a G20 official who was involved in the drafting of communique.

“Now, trade, climate, immigrants, refugees, multilateralism, steel – which are really the messy issues – remain without agreement.”

Argentina, President of the Year G20, has emphasized the importance of the Summit as a unity-building forum. But the divisions of final communica- tion have only highlighted how broken grouping has become on key global issues.

“It’s moving very slowly – so slowly I think we have to stay in this room before midnight again,” said an Asian delegate who participated in the closed door discussion to Reuters.

However, the financial market is less concerned about the leaders’ ability to present a united front and more keen on the outcome of important bilateral meetings. Wall Street lined down on Thursday with jitters over Trumps meeting with Xi.

Trump said Thursday he was open to trading with China but was not sure he wanted one.

“I think we are very close to doing something with China, but I do not know I want to do that,” said Trump to reporters.

Trump’s hard trading adviser, Peter Navarro, will participate in the meeting between Trump and Xi, a source familiar with the situation, told Reuters.

China hopes for “positive results” to resolve trade dispute with the United States, said the trade ministry on Thursday.

This year, the United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent of 250 billion Chinese goods as punishment for what it calls China’s unfair trading practices. The 10 percentage points will rise to 25 percent next year. China has responded with its own fees.

NO PUTIN MEETING

A leader Trump will not see in a meeting one-on-one is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump suddenly announced that he canceled his planned bilateral talks, referring to Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships, shortly after leaving Washington for Buenos Aires.

“Based on the fact that ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided that it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previous scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin,” tweeted him.

About an hour earlier, he had told reporters that he would probably meet with Putin at the summit and said it was “a very good time to have the meeting.” The White House said that Trump made the final decision to cancel the meeting while aboard the Air Force One.

The G20 Summit this year also deals with how to handle the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia’s actual ruler arrived in Buenos Aires on Wednesday during a cloud of controversy over the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October.

Argentine president Mauricio Macri said the allegations against bin Salman could be discussed during the G20 summit. Saudi Arabia has said that the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Slideshow (14 Images)

Macri spoke at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that Khashoggi’s murder was “very serious”.

When leaders arrived, the Argentinian security forces were locking down the central business district in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Streets and shops were noticeably emptier.

The government declared Friday a national holiday and invited the capital’s residents to leave to avoid travel chaos caused by the security lock. Major protests are also on Friday.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Jeff Mason, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice in Washington, and Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo in Beijing and Cassandra Garrison in Buenos Aires; Write by Ross Colvin; Editing Frances Kerry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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