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Trump to meet Saudi, Turkish, German leaders on G20 sidelines

Trump to meet Saudi, Turkish, German leaders on G20 sidelines

Washington, June 25 (IANS) US President Donald Trump will meet Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan this week, the White House said.

The White House said on Monday that Trump will also meet the Prime Ministers of India, Japan and Australia (Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe and Scott Morrison) in addition to the previously-announced one-on-one talks with the presidents of China, Xi Jinping, and Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s agenda does not currently include any formal meetings with leaders of Latin American countries who will also attend the summit, such as Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro or Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, an informed US official told Efe news.

There is also no meeting scheduled between Trump and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who will also be in Osaka because Spain is a permanent guest of the G20, a forum of the 20 most developed and emerging economies in the world.

Trump is set to arrive in Osaka on Thursday to take part in the summit, which is scheduled to be held on the following two days.

The highlights on his agenda are his meeting with Xi, a key to the future of the bilateral trade war between the two super-powers, and the one with Putin, whom he will see for the first time since their last meeting almost a year ago in Helsinki.

While there is no formal agenda for Trump’s meeting with Putin, both leaders are expected to address the situations in Iran, Ukraine, Syria and the Middle East, according to the official.

The meeting with Xi is expected to take place on Saturday, the last day of the summit.

The White House said Trump was under no particular pressure to reach an agreement to de-escalate the ongoing trade war with China, in which the US has imposed several rounds of tariffs on Beijing.

“The president is quite comfortable with any outcome” of the meeting with Xi, said another US official.

During the last G20 summit in December in Buenos Aires, Trump avoided a formal meeting – although he did have a brief conversation – with the Saudi Crown Prince due to the controversy sparked by the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On this occasion, Trump will sit down with the Crown Prince to talk about the escalation of tensions in the Middle East. They are also set to discuss the challenges ahead when it comes to achieving regional stability, according to a third US official.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump will leave Osaka for Seoul, where he will meet with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, on Sunday.

No meeting is scheduled with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, according to the White House, though a potential Trump visit to the inter-Korean border has not been ruled out yet.

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