The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Kerch Strait, the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul and the “trade war” between the US and China. These will be the main topics of the G20 summit opening today Friday 30 November in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This year the main focus will be on the US president Donald Trump. Financial market analysts will keep an eye at the meeting of American leader with the president of China Xi Jinping planned for Saturday. There are some hopes for a positive outcome from the trade war between two biggest world economies.
The United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year as punishment for what it calls China’s unfair trade practices, with the 10 percent tariffs set to climb to 25 percent next year. China has responded with its own tariffs.
Trump said that he was open to a trade deal with China but was not sure he wanted it. China on the other hand are hopeful about the result of the negotiations in Argentina.
This story line looks in any case more optimistic than another one – the meeting of Trump with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The meeting was abruptly cancelled by Trump, who cited Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels as a reason for the cancellation.
“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin,” he tweeted.
Another ambiguous situation will be created by the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Saudi Arabia’s ruler arrived in Buenos Aires despite the criticisms provoked by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the allegations against Bin Salman may be discussed during the G20 summit. Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.
This is the tenth summit G20 in its history, but the first time it is taking place in Latin America. Argentine President Mauricio Macri said that he hopes they will also pay attention to the economic problems of the region.