US president to meet Saudi, Turkish, German leaders on G20 summit sidelines
US President Donald J. Trump (L) shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) in Washington, DC, USA, Mar. 14, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
US President Donald J. Trump (L) looks at Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH
US President Donald J. Trump (R) meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Apr. 27, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/CHRIS KLEPONIS/POOL
Washington DC, June 24 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States is set to meet Saudi Arabia's crown prince, the Turkish president and the German chancellor during the upcoming G20 summit in Japan, the White House said on Monday.
Donald Trump is scheduled to hold meetings with Mohammad bin Salman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Angela Merkel during the two-day summit in Osaka, Japan's third-largest city.
Trump will also meet with the prime ministers of India, Japan and Australia (Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe and Scott Morrison, respectively) in addition to the previously-announced one-on-one talks with the presidents of China, Xi Jinping, and Russia, Vladimir Putin, according to a senior US official familiar with the US president's plans.
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.
The US official told EFE that there were no meetings scheduled with Latin American leaders at the moment, adding that it was normal for all of the summit's participants to interact with each other.
In a similar vein, there is no meeting scheduled between Trump and Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, who will also be in Osaka because Spain is a permanent guest of the G20, a forum of the twenty 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, June 28-29.
The highlights on his agenda are his meeting with Xi, a key to the future of the bilateral trade war between the two superpowers, 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 aforementioned official, who after being consulted by EFE added that Venezuela may also be a topic of conversation.
The US supports Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido – who has been recognized as the South American country's interim president by more than 50 countries – and has harshly criticized Russia for its backing of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, although Trump has avoided lambasting Putin directly on this issue.
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 deescalate 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 a second 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 Bin Salman to talk about the escalation of tensions in the Middle East region as hawks in his cabinet are becoming increasingly hostile towards Iran. 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.