World leaders are gathered in Osaka, Japan, for the Group of 20 summit this weekend. The days are filled with group meetings, bilaterals, dinners and leaders bumping into one another on the sidelines. Here are a few of the notable run-ins that have happened so far.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping: One of Mr. Trudeau’s stated goals heading into the summit was to seek a thaw in Canada-China relations. Mr. Trudeau’s office said he and Mr. Xi spoke before a formal meeting and had “brief, constructive interactions." The two sat next to each other during a working lunch but didn’t talk much while the cameras were on.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Abe, whose country is hosting the summit, was first on the schedule. To reporters, Mr. Trump blasted a peace treaty the U.S. and Japan had signed after the Second World War. “If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III. We will go in, and we will protect them, and we will fight with our lives and with our treasure. We will fight at all costs, right? But if we’re attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch it on a Sony television, the attack,” Mr. Trump said. A Japanese government spokesperson said the obligations under the longstanding treaty were “balanced.”
Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin: After a meeting, the two leaders posed for photos where Mr. Trump was asked whether the topic of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election came up in their conversation. “Don’t meddle in the election, please,” Mr. Trump said to Mr. Putin beside him. Mr. Putin smiled, but did not respond.
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Murray Mandryk (Saskatoon StarPhoenix) on Trudeau vs. the premiers: “That said, Western frustration with the federal government — and, by extension, the federal system — is all too real. So it’s no small irony the fix may be the system itself. If either the election or the highest court dispenses with the carbon tax, what’s the Western separatist argument that Confederation no longer works?”
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