G20 heads struggle to narrow differences beyond their concern on global growth

G20 heads struggle to narrow differences beyond their concern on global growth

Western leaders led by the EU's Donald Tusk have rejected Vladimir Putin's claims that liberalism is "obsolete", as they rallied to defend democratic values over oligarchic rule.

Appearing before reporters during his bilateral meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Trump was asked whether he would tell the Russian leader to not meddle in the US electoral process. That's when Trump set off an uproar by declining to say he believed the US intelligence services' conclusions over Putin's denials of election interference. "Don't meddle in the elections, please".

Japan's huge trade surplus over the United States, likewise, has been a perennial bugbear for Mr Trump, who has refused to budge significantly on the issue except giving Mr Abe a reprieve in delaying an outcome until after an Upper House election scheduled for July 21.

Morrison praised the strong bonds between the USA and Australia. Those crew members remain detained, yet Trump - who did briefly greet Putin in Buenos Aires - has opted to forge ahead with the meeting, which will likely include discussions about hotspots in Iran, Syria and Venezuela, as well as nuclear weapons.

Last November, Trump canceled a meeting with Putin at the G-20 in Argentina after Russian Federation seized two Ukrainian vessels and their crew members in the Sea of Azov, but the continued detention of those crew members does not appear to be deterring the leaders from meeting this time.

"This will be a hard G-20, there are global challenges to be met, we need to step up to avoid the climate threats, ... reform the World Trade Organization and prepare for the digital revolution", Donald Tusk, president of the European Union Council, said at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

-China trade war with Trump, but the leaders didn't discuss the issue with reporters present.

For Trump, the Putin meeting comes amid a gauntlet of negotiations on worldwide crises, trade wars and a growing global to-do list.

Trump reportedly sees Biden as his most concerning opponent.

Only two days earlier, he had seemed to question the US-Japan alliance, saying that Washington was committed to protecting Japan but if America was attacked, the Japanese could just "watch it on a Sony television".

"If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War Three". This time around, officials say, they pledged to develop a "free and fair trading system" in a "complicated" global economic landscape.

Trump has complained in recent days that the US military alliance with Japan is one-sided, said Germany was taking advantage of the USA on support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and tweeted that India's tariffs on the U.S. "Productive" and "pragmatic" were the words used to describe the quality of the meeting, the first time the two leaders were sitting down in a bilateral format after late 2017. Modi's personal remarks too were protocol-dictated, thanking Trump for his letter delivered by Pompeo etc.

On board Air Force One en route to Japan, Trump fired off a characteristically bullish tweet, chiding long-standing ally India for "unacceptable" tariffs on American goods. Trump also came close to launching a military strike against Iran, which downed a US drone last week.

Japanese media has reported that Tokyo, as a compromise on phrasing the thorny issue of trade, is working with its G20 counterparts on a communique that would call for the "promotion of free trade" to achieve strong global growth. Now people are wondering where exactly President Donald Trump's wife is, seeing that she wasn't able to attend.

Iran to be Discussed at G-20 Meeting in Japan video player.

Bilateral talks scheduled for Saturday between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have already gripped the G-20, as the tariff battle between the world's two largest economies has threatened to darken the economic outlook given the integrated nature of global supply chains.

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