G20 Hamburg Summit

G20 Hamburg Summit

There is no denying that Merkel made capital of the G20 Hamburg Summit. We saw Tri-lateral diplomacy in action between Germany, France and China.

 
by Victor Cherubim- Jul 8, 2017
( July 8, 2017, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) With so many world leaders attending the twelfth G20 Summit over the weekend of 7 & 8 July 2017, we can easily say, “imagination is on offer, if not on sale,” at the Messehallen Convention Centre, for diplomatic deals to be initiated, if not done, among leading nations and agree on a common framework of future action.
Hamburg is Europe’s third largest port with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, noted for its brand new architectural marvel, the Elb philharmonie Concert Hall, where leaders will gather for dinner on the first day of the summit.
They say everything at such gatherings is settled at least, in principle, or “kicked into grass,” on the first day of the Summit. Consensual agreement is the order of the day at these gatherings to showcase a united front. Around 4800 journalists from around the world are covering the event, with the summit highly choreographed with little left for chance. Any policy differences, such as Climate Change, free trade and migration will undoubtedly be papered over from behind closed doors, ahead of final communiqué. Serious disagreements exist among world leaders among major issues. Non contentious issues such as, action on future health epidemics, global taxation perhaps, money launderings may feature.
Chancellor Angela Merkel chose this city where she was born, a hub with the most potent symbol of left wing dissent, perhaps, to send a message to the world that among unrest, among disorder, there is a sense of “enforced” overwhelming order. She is known for her ability to forge sensitive compromise among leaders with disparate views. It does take a lot of courage to keep Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Recep Erdogan and besides Malcolm Turnbull of Australia and Joko Widodo of Indonesia together and yet be separate, that they don’t tear each other apart. This embodies the world of today?
The so called, “diplomatic process”?
The cohesiveness of the G20 process is witnessed by the formal and informal sessions on the sidelines of the Summit. This is a way to keep everyone at the G20 “strategically amused.” Each of the above leaders has come with their own agenda. It is indeed a job to keep them engaged and in some way to downsize their differences. This is undoubtedly a tall order, no mean task.
President Trump is having a break, a release from the so called “media engagement” back in the States. He wants to build bridges to Russia, for his own reasons. He wishes it seems, to prepare for the coming (no one knows when) confrontation with China on its actions or inactions with North Korea and the South China Sea?
Despite the well rehearsed stance of the “America First” policy and its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the German Presidency of this Summit wants to make the most of the “unreeled” public policy for environmental sustainability, gender equality and social inclusiveness, without upsetting America.
The German agenda is quite naturally to support a European “destiny” independent of the US or even fear of Russia. There is nothing new about Franco-German cooperation, but the degree of cooperation has “waxed and waned” over years. With President Emmanuel Macron, whose vision is none other than that of Gen.de Gaulle’s vision of France; there is common cause between President Macron and Chancellor Merkel.
The likely beneficiary of the new Franco-German European outlook will undoubtedly be China. We saw the facial expression, the physical gesture and the way Angela Merkel accompanied President Xi Jinping after the welcoming ceremony for leaders at the Summit. The body language spoke volumes for China/Europe friendship.
How did Angela Merkel square the circle of friendship?
There is no denying that Merkel made capital of the G20 Hamburg Summit. We saw Tri-lateral diplomacy in action between Germany, France and China.
Many will want to know how Merkel cleverly brought back Russia into the fold of World Leaders. Since President Obama had isolated Russia on many fronts, including closing down Russian embassy offices in and around New Yorkbefore he left office, We also noted President Putin was isolated not only from the G8 but also isolated from Europe because of the continuing sanctions related to actions in Ukraine.
Angela Merkel worked out a diplomatic strategy to arrange a one to one private meeting between President Trump and President Putin to coincide with the timing of the meeting on Climate Change among all other committed Powers. Was it a concession or a diplomatic move? Who knows? This suited everybody.
President Putin hoped to get some leverage from this one to one meeting, with President Trump to remove this exclusion. President Trump, in return, wanted President Putin to put in a word to deescalate the North Korean ICBM crisis with China? It was common knowledge that President Putin and Russian diplomats knew that in the current “US climate,” any great breakthroughs were or are undoubtedly difficult if not impossible. But everything is possible in diplomacy, with the first, one to one, face to face meeting, between Russia and U.S.
A meeting on the sidelines with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a trade deal with Japan after BRExit, was what Merkel enabled from the Summit for Theresa May.
Invited Guests
More than 20 Heads of State or Governments as well as international organisations attended the G20 Hamburg Summit, with Guest invitees, the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Guinea, Senegal, Kenya, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Vietnam and Singapore. Each of these guests was chosen by the German Presidency, for their own reasons.
Uninvited Guests
Every summit is blighted by protests of all sorts, with thousands of demonstrations, marching pageants, anarchists and left wing radicals with banners proclaiming “Capitalism will end anyway, you decide when?” the Green Peace activists project the slogan “No Trump, Yes Paris.” and the anarchists. wanted to destroy everything in front of them. Over 20,000 police with dogs, horses, helicopters, water cannon, pepper sprays and 4.8 miles of steel barriers had to be deployed to prevent anarchy by the 80,000 demonstrators.
The most laughable event that took place was the First Lady of United States, Melania Trump, thanks to these demonstrations, was holed in her luxury hotel room unable to get out and participate in some the events for dignitaries.
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