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G20 ends with pledge on trade and promise to fight protectionism


President Barack Obama speaks to media after the G20 closing at JW Marriott Hotel

President Barack Obama wrapped up his final G20 meetings Monday confronting two of his prickly global counterparts, saying his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “candid, blunt and businesslike” but didn’t yield a deal on ending the violence in Syria. “We focused on making sure that businesses can compete fairly”, he said at a press briefing after the summit. But U.S. was wary of enter a deal that would not be effective.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she wanted her security advisers to help review a delayed nuclear power investment from China – a source of diplomatic tension – as she arrived for a G-20 summit. The negotiations lasted for 40 hours. Earlier in the day, USA secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov tried and failed to come up with terms for a ceasefire for the second time in a fortnight, although they are due to meet again this week.

The plan would forge an unlikely US-Russian militarily partnership against extremist groups operating in Syria.

“China wouldn’t provide a red carpet stairway from Air Force One and then Philippines President calls Obama ‘the son of a whore.’ bad!”

May said she didn’t want Britain to become inward looking.

Putin noted that Syria was high on the agenda of discussions during his meetings on the sideline of the summit and that Moscow would confer with the Syrian government on the progress of the talks and also inform Iran. Obama used an alternative exit, but quarrels broke out on the tarmac and at other venues over access by US officials and the traveling press. But “I wouldn’t over-crank the significance of it”, Obama said of the alleged snub.

Besides the situation in Syria, Obama also reportedly discussed with Putin concerns over militant pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and Russian cybersecurity crimes. Obama met earlier with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the same issue.

Before the summit, European G20-sources doubted that the Chinese agenda would mark a real new chapter to create more sustainable growth for the global economy.