Russia-Ukraine crisis clouds G20 summit in Buenos Aires

Xi and Trump are scheduled to have a dinner on Saturday evening to talk about their trade differences and potentially call a ceasefire in the ongoing trade war between the two countries.

The "Baby Trump" balloon is seen ahead of the G20 leaders summit, in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 29, 2018.

"We'll be talking about a thing called trade", Trump said shortly before the dinner in a show of understatement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May lauded the late Bush as "a great statesman and a true friend of our country", words that few observers in Britain would apply to Trump. A meeting with Trump has not been ruled out by the White House. While the possibility of selling US military equipment was allegedly floated during the encounter, Argentina emphasized that it did not have the funds to make any purchase.

Trump has scheduled a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week ahead of the potential implementation of a 25-percent import tariff on Chinese goods set to begin January 1.

The nonbinding agreement came in Buenos Aires, where the leaders are meeting, after all-night talks over the specifics of the language.

"We can't resolve problems such as the future of work or climate change issues on our own", said Mr Macri. "I do not think there was a reference in those terms", Faurie told reporters earlier on Friday, adding that the meeting was handled in a cordial way.

Earlier the USA president said he had postponed a planned press conference "out of respect for the Bush family", following the death of former President George HW Bush, at the age of 94.

Trump has thrown out the traditional USA playbook on free trade since his shock 2016 election, vowing to protect forgotten workers and put "America First".

Laura Jaitman, the Argentine Treasury official shepherding the G-20′s financing talks, said leaders have made progress on finance and trade and was hopeful a joint statement would be possible.

Another major dispute at the WTO concerns the refusal by the European Union and the United States to recognise China as a "market economy" whose goods are fairly priced by the market.

But in a rhetorical olive branch to Trump, Xi pledged to do more to open up China´s economy.

China's commerce ministry said on Thursday it was hoping for "positive results".

Trump has accused China of rampant theft of U.S. technology and demanded that the emerging power end its requirements that foreign companies team up with local partners.

But, he said, "that turned out to be a fleeting aspiration".

China, which has already slapped tariffs on $110 billion in US goods, is likely to retaliate, ramping up a conflict that is already rattling financial markets and causing forecasters to downgrade the outlook for global economic growth.

Of his blossoming relationship with Mr Trump, Mr Morrison said: "Australia and the United States have the longest-running alliance of any countries in the world today - going back 100 years - so you would expect there would be a strong relationship to build on and I was happy to play my role in that today, and there was a very easy and affable connection".

Such a statement would endorse the Paris Agreement on climate change, the source said, after Trump yanked the United States out of the pact in the face of increasingly urgent warnings from scientists that action is needed now.

The presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit also raised an awkward dilemma for leaders, and Saudi Arabia's de facto leader cut a lonely figure standing at the edge of the G20 family photo.

During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, Mr Xi took a swipe at the US's America First policy by saying that countries that embraced protectionism were "doomed to failure". However, Putin noted, he and Trump have different positions on the issue.

At the press conference, Trump had trouble understanding the English interpreter as the Argentine leader was addressing the press.

  • Rogelio Becker