Leaders from some of the world’s biggest economies assembled this weekend in Osaka, Japan for the annual two-day G20 summit to discuss pressing issues ranging from trade wars to election fraud.
Between some contentious meetings – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s confrontation with Vladimir Putin regarding the Salisbury novichok poisonings, for starters – and noticeably cozier ones, like the one between President Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, these are the top takeaways from the summit.
China and the US agree to restart trade negotiations:
Perhaps the most-watched meeting of the weekend was between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two leaders -- who have been embroiled in a more than year-long trade war -- agreed to resume trade negotiations, calling for a tariff ceasefire.
“We discussed a lot of things, and we’re right back on track,” Trump said about the meeting. “We had a very, very good meeting with China.”
Part of the resolution included Trump lifting certain restrictions on U.S. companies, allowing suppliers to sell components to Chinese telecom firm Huawei. However, Trump will not lift existing sanctions on $250 billion worth of goods on Beijing, although he said he’d refrain from imposing new levies on an additional $300 billion worth of goods.
Trump continues to stand by Prince Mohammed after Khashoggi murder
Trump drew some criticism for his friendly meeting with the Saudi prince, after the Arab Kingdom -- and Prince Mohammed -- were implicated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a noted critic of the crown prince and a columnist for The Washington Post, in its Istanbul consulate.
Trump has mostly ignored the mounting evidence against the crown prince, despite the CIA’s conclusion that Prince Mohammed ordered his death.
“It’s an honor to be with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a friend of mine - a man who has really done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia,” Trump said.
However, the president said during a news conference on Saturday that he did raise the Khashoggi murder with the crown prince.
“He’s very angry about it,” he said. “He’s very unhappy about it.”
Putin and Trump joke about election meddling and “getting rid” of journalists
Critics urged Trump to be more aggressive with Putin about Russian interference in U.S. election, but in a sideline meeting with Putin, Trump jokingly dismissed the issue.
A reporter, during the meeting, questioned whether Trump would tell Russia to not meddle in elections.
“Yes, of course I will,” he said, turning to Putin. “Don’t meddle in the election, President.”
Trump also commiserated with Putin about journalists (the Russian president has been accused of having members of the media killed), according to Bloomberg News.
“Get rid of them,” Trump said.
Trump offers to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in demilitarized zone
On Friday night, while attending the final day of the G20 summit, Trump took to Twitter to extend an invite to Kim for a face-to-face meeting in the demilitarized zone, the strip of land between the Korean peninsula.
“Today I will visit with, and speak to, our Troops - and also go the the DMZ (long planned). My meeting with President Moon went very well!” he wrote in a tweet on Saturday evening.
The president had already been scheduled to travel the the DMZ, but said he wasn’t sure whether or not Kim would meet him. Trump previously met with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam in February; however, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on sanctions and nuclear proliferation. If Kim does go to the DMZ, it would be the third meeting between the leaders.
All G20 countries, excluding U.S., pledge commitment to Paris Climate agreement
Nineteen of the G20 members pledged their commitment to the “full implementation” of the Paris Agreement -- except for the U.S. The other countries -- which agreed to the “irreversibility” of the climate treaty -- said they would explore a wide range of clean technologies and approaches to address climate change.
The U.S., under Trump, withdrew from the Paris Agreement in 2017, two years after it was initially ratified. Trump claimed that doing so would help American businesses and workers.