MBS welcomed at G-20; Trump under fire

People are dragging Trump for wandering off stage at G20 Summit ‘get me out of here

On the eve of the summit, G20 member nations were still racing to reach agreement on major issues including trade, migration and climate change that in past years have been worked out well in advance.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said the recent establishment of more flights to the disputed islands was a positive development.

Mr 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 USA tariffs on Chinese goods are set to ramp up.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Europeans also agreed to US demands to leave out of the statement tenets that protectionism and trade disputes are bad for the economy, and that global institutions are useful. Even if the appeal lands in time, there is another potential hitch. Some of his counterparts shared a word or two but few went out of their way to shake his hand.

The world leaders were all called on to the stage and assumed their position for the traditional family photograph.

Saudi Arabia has denied that the prince played a role, but USA intelligence agencies concluded he ordered the killing.

Worldwide indignation over Khashoggi's murder, which was carried out inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, continued on Thursday as Canada slapped sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals allegedly linked to his murder. Saudi Arabia has blamed "rogue agents" but suspicion has fallen on the prince for ordering the killing.

Merkel met Putin early Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May lauded the late Bush as "a great statesman and a true friend of our country", words that few observers in Britain would apply to Trump.

In addition Mrs May held a 15-minute meeting to discuss trade with Mr Macri. But there were no serious disturbances reported on the opening day of the summit.

In the wake of the meeting between Macri and Trump, the finance and energy ministries and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signed an agreement to foster cooperation and identify "trade and investment opportunities" in the energy sector, the local publication added.

Russian Federation and Ukraine have traded blame over the incident - which Trump cited in canceling a much-awaited meeting with Putin at the G20.

More news: G20 Summit: Everything You Need To Know
More news: Canada imposes sanctions on 17 Saudis over killing of journalist Khashoggi
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"We don't like what happened". Russian news agencies quoted Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the cancellation means Putin will have more time for "useful meetings".

The Turkish president's meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte lasted almost an hour.

The second-highest profile meeting will also involve Mr Trump.

Xi attends the plenary session at the G20 summit on Saturday.

Trump has made trade a key issue for his G20 agenda.

Beijing hopes to persuade Trump to abandon plans to hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent in January, from 10 percent at present.

The state-run China Daily said that the Pacific powers could strike a deal in Buenos Aires but warned the United States against pushing too hard on technology.

"The fact that we lost a president really puts a damper on it", Trump said of Saturday evening's dinner. There are some good signs.

"Willis Sparks, director of global macro politics at Eurasia Group, said: "Just to see how leaders interact with the crown prince will be interesting - how warm they are".

Trump is unhappy with the WTO's failure to hold Beijing to account for failing to open its economy as envisioned when China joined the WTO in 2001.

If that was created to soothe Trump, Xi more generally urged his fellow G20 leaders "to stick to openness" and to "steer (the) world economy responsibly", Xinhua reported.

What has been achieved so far?

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

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