AS IT HAPPENED: World leaders conclude discussions at G20 Summit

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the summit. (SPA)
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Having met earlier with the Argentine president Macri, the crown prince met with the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte later on Saturday afternoon. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Argentina’s president on the sidelines of the G20 summit. (SPA)
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 Leaders from the world’s major economies are meeting on the second day of the G20 Summit in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. (Screenshot)
Updated 02 December 2018
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AS IT HAPPENED: World leaders conclude discussions at G20 Summit

  • Leaders from the world’s major economies are meeting on the second day of the summit
  • Saudi Arabia’s delegation is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

BEUNOS AIRES: Leaders from the world’s major economies met on the second day of the G20 Summit in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires on Saturday, having come together for talks on Friday to discuss development, infrastructure and investment. 

Saudi Arabia’s delegation was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was greeted by world leaders including Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron on day one and met with other attendees on day two.

LATEST

19.15 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

19:00 GMT

Making his final statements at the G20 Summit, France's president told reporters that he had discussed the Jamal Khashoggi case with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He also spoke with Prince Mohammed about the ongoing situation in Yemen and affirmed France's commitment to supporting a political solution to the conflict. Macron also said that he and the crown prince also discussed oil prices.

18.00 GMT 

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri said that his country planned to discuss some investment ideas with Saudi Arabia.

17:50 GMT

Saudi Arabia's crown prince met the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the summit.

17.05 GMT

The G20 communique said that the G20 nations reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening the global financial safety net with a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF at its centre.

G20 signatories to the Paris climate change deal said that they will continue to tackle climate change while promoting sustainable development and economic growth.

Meanwhile, the US reiterated its decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement and affirmed its commitment to utilising all energy sources and technologies while protecting the  environment. 

17.00 GMT

A G20 communique said “We renew our commitment to work together to improve a rules-based international order that is capable of effectively responding to a rapidly changing world.”

Read More: Why the G20 matters now for both Saudi Arabia and the international community

16:30 GMT

Having met earlier with the Argentine president Macri, the crown prince met with the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte later on Saturday afternoon.

16:00 GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Saturday to hold further talks about events in the Kerch Strait.

Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired on and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend. Moscow accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border.

Merkel voiced her concern about the situation when she met Putin on the sidelines of the summit.

Read More: G20 coverage in Arab News' Spotlight

15:40 GMT

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri.

 

15:35 GMT

President Donald Trump canceled a planned news conference at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina Saturday, "out of respect for the Bush Family" after death of former President George H.W. Bush.
In a tweet, Trump said he was "very much looking forward" to speaking with the news media before leaving the summit in Buenos Aires "because we have had such great success in our dealing with various countries and their leaders at the G20."
He added: "However, out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference."

15:00 GMT

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged British Prime Minster Theresa May to ensure stability as Britain leaves the European Union and asked her to do what she could to avoid a 'no deal' Brexit.

May secured an agreement with European Union leaders on Nov 25 that would see Britain leave the bloc on March 29 with continued close trade ties, but the odds look stacked against her getting it through a deeply divided British parliament.

Read More: G20 enters final day with work to do on bridging divisions

14:20 GMT

G20 leaders were due to discuss climate change at the morning session of their summit on Saturday and negotiations on a draft communique were expected to last until the final minute, a spokesperson for the Argentine G20 sherpa said.

Leaders were close to agreement on wording over reform of the World Trade Organization and had "advanced a lot" on trade, the spokesperson said: "We are going to negotiate till the last minute"

Read More: AS IT HAPPENED: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets world leaders at G20

13:45 GMT

Day two of the summit began with G20 leaders paying tribute to the former US president George HW Bush, who died on Saturday aged 94. French president Emmanuel Macron said: "He was a world leader, who strongly supported the alliance with Europe.”

While UK prime minister Theresa May lauded Bush as “a great statesman and a true friend of our country.” Current US president Donald Trump said Bush had “inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service.”

But there was no immediate comment from Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, who in the past has called the breakup of the Soviet Union under Bush’s president a “historical tragedy.”

Read More: What G20 summits have solved

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Among the world leaders the crown prince also met with on day one included Indonesia's vice president and South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, where he discussed cooperation in the fields of energy and investment. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan participated in a G20 working dinner for world finance ministers on the sidelines of the summit on Thursday.

The meeting consisted of two sessions. The first session focused on developments in the global economy, risk management in volatile financial markets, growing trade differences, lessons learned over the last ten years since the group's first summit in November 2008, and ways of cooperation in order to face future challenges of achieving sustainable and comprehensive growth. The second session, which was opened by Al-Jadaan who was the keynote speaker at the session, focussed on financial progress in the group’s works, ways to make its role effective by building on what is has achieved, mechanisms to reach consensus on controversial financial and economic issues, and streamlining the G20 agenda.


India’s Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Updated 11 December 2018
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India’s Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

  • Analysts say a big loss for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would signify rural dismay and help unite the opposition
  • Poll analysts cautioned that with the counting in preliminary stages, it was still too early to predict the outcome of state races involving millions of voters

NEW DELHI: India’s ruling party could lose power in three key states, four TV networks said on Tuesday, citing votecount leads, potentially handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014, and months ahead of a general election.
The main opposition Congress party could form governments in the central states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and in the western state of Rajasthan, all big heartland states that powered Modi to a landslide win in the 2014 general election.
Analysts say a big loss for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would signify rural dismay and help unite the opposition, despite his high personal popularity in the face of criticism that he did not deliver on promises of jobs for young people and better conditions for farmers.
“We’ve all voted for Congress this time and our candidate is winning here,” said Bishnu Prasad Jalodia, a wheat grower in Madhya Pradesh, where it appears as if Congress might have to woo smaller parties to keep out Modi’s party.
“BJP ignored us farmers, they ignored those of us at the bottom of the pyramid.”
The elections are also a test for Rahul Gandhi, president of the left-of-center Congress, who is trying to forge a broad alliance with regional groups and face Modi with his most serious challenge yet, in the election that must be held by May.
In Rajasthan, the Congress was leading in 114 of the 199 seats contested, against 81 for the BJP, in the initial round of voting, India Today TV said.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was ahead in 59 of the 90 seats at stake, with the BJP at 24. In Madhya Pradesh, the most important of the five states that held assembly elections over the past few weeks, Congress was ahead, with 112 of 230 seats. The Hindu nationalist BJP was at 103, the network said.
Three other TV channels also said Congress was leading in the three states, with regional parties leading in two smaller states that also voted, Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.
Poll analysts cautioned that with the counting in preliminary stages, it was still too early to predict the outcome of state races involving millions of voters.
Local issues usually dominate state polls, but politicians are seeing the elections as a pointer to the national vote just months away.
Indian markets recovered some ground after an early fall as the central bank governor’s unexpected resignation the previous day shocked investors.
The rupee currency dropped as much as 1.5 percent to 72.465 per dollar, while bond yields rose 12 basis points to 7.71 percent after the resignation of Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel.
The broader NSE share index was down 1.3 percent, with investors cautious ahead of the election results.
“As the three erstwhile BJP states have a large agrarian population, the BJP’s drubbing could be interpreted to mean that farm unrest is real,” Nomura said in a research note before the results.
“A rout of the BJP on its homeground states should encourage cohesion among the opposition parties to strengthen the non-BJP coalition for the general elections.”
Gandhi, the fourth generation scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has sought to build a coalition of regional groups, some headed by experienced firebrand, ambitious politicians.
Congress has already said it would not name Gandhi, who is seen as lacking experience, as a prime ministerial candidate.
“When one and one become eleven, even the mighty can be dethroned,” opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav said of the prospect of growing opposition unity.