The G20 is the annual meeting of the world's largest global economies.
These are Argentina (which is the host nation this year), Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States , South Africa, South Korea and the rest of the European Union as a single bloc (represented by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk).
In addition, seven countries have been invited as guests to attend the summit. Leaders from various partner organizations also take part in the G20. These include the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Each summit has a number of official themes. This year they include sustainable food, infrastructure and the future of work. Those topics are discussed during a session with all heads of government together, after which the leaders hold different "work sessions".
During these meetings, sensitive issues that cause tension are also discussed. These are the three issues that everyone is looking forward to discussing.
Khashoggi and the Saudi Crown Prince
Saudi Arabia is represented at the G20 by crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS).
The country and the prince have been discredited after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. One of the big questions that remains is about the (unproven) involvement of Bin Salman himself.
The Saudis claim that the crown prince knew nothing, while Turkey states that the murder assignment came from the top of the government and probably from Bin Salman.
Several human rights groups have called on Argentina to arrest Bin Salman for the alleged involvement in the Khashoggi murder case. It is however very unlikely that Argentina would respond to this.
President Mauricio Macri of Argentina refused to confirm whether the allegations would be discussed at the G20 summit.
US President Donald Trump said he would have no problem speaking to MBS but no official meeting has been planned.
Tension between Russia and Ukraine
Trump’s agenda did originally contain a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The American president, however, canceled the get together because of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Last weekend, Russia blocked three Ukrainian navy ships. Moscow accused the Ukrainian ships of illegally entering Russian territorial waters. According to Ukraine, Russia opened fire on the ships and injured several crew members.
Experts suspect that the new escalation in the protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine is simply another strategic move by former spy Putin.
In doing so, he creates a diversion explaining the poor economic state of the country and takes attention away from his own declining popularity due to Russian pension reform.
It is furthermore striking that the Russian leader accuses his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Porosjenko of doing exactly the same.
China - US Trade War
Trump has a large-scale meeting planned with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires.
The US is hosting a dinner for the Chinese government Saturday in the hope of forcing a breakthrough in the lingering trade conflict between the two countries.
Washington has been applying import duties on Chinese goods worth more than 250 billion dollars for two months. The US government has threatened to raise the 10% rates as from 1 January to 25%, which could be disastrous for the world economy.
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