The world’s top influential leaders are gathering in Japan for conferences that will set the pace for the global economy and to make the difference between warfare and peace in geopolitical hotspots.
Key things to look at include any indicators of a breakthrough in U.S.-China commerce talks, efforts to cease rising tensions between the USA and Iran, and concrete action to lower emissions and reduce plastic pollution in oceans. Major agenda items include President Donald Trump’s conferences with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Salman was given a distinguished spot for the G-20 family photo, front row close to the center next to Trump. He stood out on the stage and held a broad grin for a lot of the event.
The crown prince has been the topic of fierce worldwide criticism since the death of journalist Jamaal Khashoggi in Turkey and found himself on the fringes of the last household photograph at the G-20 in Argentina late last year.
Trump strolled up to the family photo alongside Putin, their first interaction since Special Counsel Robert Mueller launched his report on Russian interference within the 2016 U.S. election and the Trump marketing campaign’s openness to it. Trump and Putin meet formally later Friday.
Trump also shook arms with Chinese President Xi Jinping forward of their closely-watched sit-down on Saturday. For all of the trade war bluster, the chat was brief and appeared friendly.