The video deliberations of the G20 heads of state and government have only just started when Donald Trump is sending out tweets almost every minute.
For example, he informs that his son Donald Jr., who is currently suffering from Covid-19, is well (“My son Donald is doing very well. Thank you”). Then he insists, contrary to all facts, that massive electoral fraud will be uncovered in the presidential election (“Massive voter fraud will be shown!”). Twitter immediately warned the messages that these were “controversial” claims.
After the detailed words of the Saudi Arabian host, King Salman, the incumbent US President even spoke briefly, whe two participants reported. “His speech consisted of it to say that he did an absolutely incredible job during his tenure, economically and also in the face of the pandemic, “said one delegate.
Accordingly, Trump lost “not a single word“ about international issues. According to a second participant in the summit, Trump also said: “It has been an honor to work with you and I look forward to working with you in the future and for a long time.”
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After less than two hours on the video switch, Trump then left the virtual G20 meeting – to drive to his golf club in the neighboring state of Virginia, as he did on the previous two Saturdays at 11 a.m. This was reported by journalists traveling with them.
According to information from the German Press Agency Trump was temporarily represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his economic advisor Larry Kudlow. Trump wanted to participate in the G20 video circuit again on Sunday according to the White House calendar.
It is a message in itself that the outgoing president is even connected from the USA, he looks down on the video screen almost all the time, as if typing something on the side, does not seem to the words of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman really to follow. It’s a premiere because of the corona pandemic – the heads of state and government of the G20 countries from all over the world are only connected via video.
Saudi Arabia as the first Arab G20 host wanted a big show, but it doesn’t exist now, and at the same time the numerous human rights violations and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is critical of the regime, in the Istanbul consulate are now less discussed and publicly criticized than at an on-site event . Together, the members of the G20 represent more than 85 percent of global economic output and two-thirds of the world’s population.
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) follow the video summit from the Chancellery. In addition to eleven international institutions, Switzerland, Jordan, Singapore, Spain, Vietnam, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates are also participating as host countries.
However, such G20 summits have always thrived on personal encounters, the many bilateral discussions on the sidelines, and the search for compromises in small groups. The most important topic in the two virtual consultations on Saturday and Sunday, each scheduled for 2.5 hours each: Overcoming the corona pandemic and economic reconstruction.
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The other big questions, especially the fight against climate change, will only come into focus again with the presidency of Joe Biden – next year Italy will take over the G20 presidency and Great Britain will take over the G7 presidency from the USA, which have hardly done anything here. Trump didn’t want a virtual summit either.
In the federal government there is hope that with Biden the multilateral approach will be strengthened again – and one can get away from 19: 1 decisions through US blockades.
“We have a duty to face the challenge together at this summit and to send a strong message of hope,” said Saudi Arabia’s King Salman at the start. With the one expected shortly Approval of the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine in the USA also shifts the focus to the rapid availability and fair distribution of billions of vaccine doses.
To this end, there is the Covax international alliance, comprising over 150 countries, which aims to make vaccines available and affordable for everyone. Most recently, China also joined the initiative, but not Donald Trump’s US administration. So far, 4.3 billion has been raised for the development and delivery of corona vaccines.
According to the EU, additional money for the vaccine initiative will be solicited at the summit. Germany has already contributed 100 million euros. Government circles said that there would be no further financial commitments from the German side at the G20 summit.