"A leader should not fly all the way to Canada just to speak in the corridors."
Turkey: Wary on Gaza, Iran!
It's been an interesting couple of weeks for the western world's relationship with Turkey, and as this report suggests, there's hope in Turkey for a bilateral meeting with the U.S. administration at the G20 to iron out some disagreements:
" 'There is no scheduled meeting yet,' diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday. But if a meeting is arranged between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama on the sidelines in Toronto, then Iran's nuclear issue, Israel's deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and the struggle against terror will be atop the Turkish side's agenda.
" 'The issue of Turkey's struggle with the PKK can be raised during the talks within the scope of northern Iraq, where the terrorist organization has bases,' sources said. Recognizing the PKK as a 'common enemy,' Washington signaled they are ready for new requests from the Turkish government."
United Kingdom: Cameron!
The British press was replete of quotes from their new Prime Minister, David Cameron, as he made his maiden foray into the international conference circuit. The Daily Mail was full of pictures of his gripping and grinning.
They are also World Cup obsessed:
"Asked if he and Merkel would watch England play Germany on Sunday, Britain's Cameron said: 'There is an idea we might try and watch it together. I will try not to wrestle her to the ground during penalties, but we will have to see.' "
The Guardian had some muted grumbling about Stephen Harper's priorities, and concern over a double-dip recession:
"The Canadian prime minister, Steve Harper, said that he welcomed Cameron's responsible and difficult decisions, saying the British prime minister's budget 'had raised the very fiscal consolidation agenda that we are trying to steer the G20 towards'.
"Canada wants the G20 to endorse the idea that national deficits should be halved by 2013."
The BBC thinks the bank tax imbroglio is really just a reheat of the last big economic summit:
"In many ways, the argument over the right way to support the global recovery here at the G20 summit in Toronto is the mirror image of the debate at the London Summit last year.
"Back then the argument was that governments needed to act together to prevent another Great Depression. Now the worry is that they will hurt the recovery if they withdraw that support all at the same time.
"The hard truth about today's situation may be that there is no perfect mix of policies that can guarantee a strong recovery after a financial crisis this severe, and a run-up in sovereign borrowing this large.
"Put it another way: we could be damned if governments do cut borrowing rapidly - with the global economy still fragile - but we could also be damned if they don't."
United States: Stimulus!
In the U.S. the Washington Post admitted Obama's desire to keep the stimulus dollars flowing to avoid a double-dip recession was facing an uphill battle. Hard to imagine he'll be too successful when he's being defeated at home on this issue:
"Facing a difficult midterm election season, Congress has approved only about a quarter of the $266 billion in "temporary recovery measures" that the president asked for in his February budget request."
In the New York Times, Mr. Obama called on the other G20 leaders to maintain the unity they showed in summit meetings in London and Pittsburgh last year.
" 'We need to act in concert for a simple reason: This crisis proved, and events continue to affirm, that our national economies are inextricably linked,' Mr. Obama said on the White House lawn before leaving for Toronto.
"But Ángel Gurría, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, called the choice between stimulus spending and deficit reduction 'a false dilemma,' saying that both were necessary."
And on the Grip and Grin front:
From the same New York Times piece:
"Naoto Kan, the new prime minister of Japan, encountered Mr. Obama for the first time since assuming the position, as did Mr. Cameron, Britain's new leader.
"Mr. Obama was scheduled to have at least six one-on-one meetings with world leaders during his stay in Canada.
"But except for Mr. Cameron, all of the confirmed bilateral meetings were with Asian leaders, in a reflection of Asia's role in leading the global economic recovery."
You may have noticed a lot of the other international publications were keen to get face time with Obama. He may not be the host but it is apparently his summit.