AS IT HAPPENED: World leaders conclude discussions at G20 Summit

1 / 4
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the summit. (SPA)
2 / 4
Having met earlier with the Argentine president Macri, the crown prince met with the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte later on Saturday afternoon. (SPA)
3 / 4
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Argentina’s president on the sidelines of the G20 summit. (SPA)
4 / 4
 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

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.


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



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.

Sri Lanka rejects plans for $10m Shariah university

Updated 21 May 2019

Sri Lanka rejects plans for $10m Shariah university

  • Madrasas to be absorbed by Ministry of Education in wake of Easter Sunday attacks
  • More than 100 arrests have been made following the rioting. A curfew has been lifted and life is returning to normal

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday refused permission for a planned $10 million (SR37.5 million) Shariah university in one of the country’s main cities.

And in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks on hotels and churches, the premier also announced that all madrasas would be brought under the umbrella of Sri Lanka’s Education Ministry.

The latest moves by the Sri Lankan government follow widespread unrest on the island, with anti-Muslim riots having caused damage running into millions of dollars.

Wickremesinghe’s orders came after a fact-finding report into the university compiled by MP Ashu Marasinghe. He recommended that the institution, being constructed at Batticaloa, in the Eastern Province, should be privately operated and titled Batticaloa Technology University. The new education complex is located close to the township of Kattankudy where suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings, Zahran Hashim, lived and preached his messages of hate and violence.

The Sri Lankan government analyst’s department said on Tuesday that DNA tests proved Hashim died in the attack at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo.

President’s Counsel, Ali Sabry, a prominent lawyer and political analyst, told Arab News on Tuesday that the premier’s announcement was welcome.

“We don’t need a Shariah university at this juncture when there is a lot of suspicions on various Islamic topics that need to be clarified by Islamic theologians following the suicide attacks by Muslim extremists,” Sabry said. He stressed that the country’s main focus should be on strengthening ways to ensure peaceful coexistence among all communities.

The Sri Lankan University Grants Commission had a set of guidelines to license new universities, and Wickremesinghe’s latest recommendations would also be included among the requirements for a new university, Sabry added.

The prime minister’s ruling on madrasas (Islamic seminaries) would provide more transparency on the activities of the institutions, he said. “Their curriculum and their co-curricular activities should maintain a common standard and these madrasas should prepare the students to make them fit into society instead of just learning Arabic and Islam only.”

M.R.M. Malik, director of the Muslim Affairs Ministry in Colombo, told Arab News that currently all madrasas function under his ministry. “There are 317 madrasas throughout the island with an estimated 25,000 students. In addition to the local teachers, there are 38 Arabic teachers and 85 foreign students,” he said.

Most of the teachers are from Egypt, Pakistan and India, while many of the overseas students studying at the madrasas are from Libya, Pakistan, Jordan and India.

Sri Lanka Muslim Council President N.M. Ameen told Arab News that the local community had never wanted a Shariah university. However, he said the proposed curriculum for the madrasas should be constructed in consultation with Islamic scholars and the Muslim community.

Meanwhile, Western Province Gov. Azath Salley, revealed that damage caused by anti-Muslim riots had reached nearly Rs900 million (SR19.2 million). The governor was speaking to Arab News following a visit to some of the worst-affected villages on the island.

“Speaking to the families of the vandalized properties, it’s clear that an organized gang had attacked these earmarked properties owned by Muslims,” said Salley. “One child, whose father was killed in his presence, is still in a state of utter shock and dismay.” He added that turpentine oil had been poured on the face of the dead carpenter by his killers and set on fire.

The governor urged the authorities to bring the attackers to justice. He added that the government would provide compensation to victims of wrecked properties.

Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasakera said that more than 100 arrests had been made following the rioting, and that a curfew had been lifted and life was returning to normal.