On Saturday he won again for global corporate tax agreement and some progress in reconstruction nuclear agreement with Iran, President Biden returned on Sunday to the last day of the Group of 20 summit, facing much more difficult challenges, including pressure to take stronger action against climate change and make concrete progress on delivery of Covid vaccines to the poorest countries.
The difficult agenda facing the leaders of the 20 richest countries, their first personal meeting since the start of the pandemic, illustrated the growing divide between developing countries. These nations have argued that industrialized countries have accumulated vaccines and wasted decades of opportunities to slow global warming.
After the Rome summit, Mr Biden and other leaders will travel to Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Conference, where they will meet the demands of scientists and many developing countries to rapidly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Talks in Glasgow, known as COP26, come as the UN warns of an impending climate catastrophe and is shaped as a test of whether global cooperation is even possible to tackle a crisis that does not recognize national borders.
A senior administration official told reporters Saturday night that U.S. negotiators are working to make concrete progress from the summit on reducing methane emissions, decarbonising the global energy sector and ending international funding for coal projects.
For Mr Biden, who bet on his presidency his ability to create consensus at home and abroad, the return to personal diplomacy offered an opportunity for good news after weeks of negative headlines.
His struggles included fighting for the unification of Democrats in Congress behind his huge spending plan for the economy and the environment, and trying to cope with the aftermath of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The weekend in Rome started at smooth things out with French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledging that the administration the handling of the submarine contract was “awkward”.
Mr Biden faced a more complicated meeting with Mr Biden on Sunday morning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid tensions over Ankara’s threats to expel ambassadors from the United States and other countries, and its purchase of Russia’s anti-missile defense system. A senior Biden administration official told reporters in Rome that the meeting would address a range of topics, including Syria, Libya and Turkey’s desire to buy US F16 aircraft.
Despite the tension, the two leaders were repeatedly spotted chatting at Saturday’s summit, with Mr Biden animatedly gesturing against Mr Erdogan before posing for all 20 leaders for the usual “family photo”.
Mr Biden was looking forward to a return to U.S. diplomacy that slapped back, and won on Saturday when leaders backed an important deal that seeks to prevent large corporations from transferring profits and jobs across borders to avoid taxes. The global agreement setting a minimum level of corporate taxation aimed at preventing companies from covering up revenues in tax havens such as Bermuda.
Also on Saturday, Mr Biden met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss rejoining the 2015 Iranian nuclear pact, abandoned by President Donald J. Trump. While Mr Biden said talks with Iran – one of his most elusive diplomatic goals – were set to “continue”, other leaders withdrew his statement, saying they “welcome President Biden’s clear commitment to a full return to US compliance”. «With an agreement.
On Sunday, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, President Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over tense relations between NATO allies.
The second meeting between the two men after Mr Biden’s inauguration came just days after Mr Erdogan threatened with the expulsion of 10 diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador, for calling for the release of a imprisoned Turkish philanthropist. This dispute was resolved by exchanging diplomatic statements, but stressed how volatile the relationship remains.
Other points of contention between the leaders remain major, particularly over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 air defense system. Mr Erdogan nevertheless refused to withdraw from the purchase sanctions and exclusion from the U.S. defense program to develop the F-35 stealth fighter aircraft.
But under pressure from the strengthened opposition over the deteriorating economy at home, Erdogan is seeking an agreement to replace the F-35 program and has asked to buy new U.S. F-16 fighter jets to modernize his fleet with money. he had already spent on the F-35.
Mr Biden is expected to agree to the deal, as it would prevent Turkey from going to Russia to pick up fighter jets and prevent further disruptions to NATO’s defense system. But in brief comments before the meeting, the president did not respond to a question about whether he would approve the F-16 deal.
“We are planning a good conversation,” Mr Biden said.
Mr Erdogan was unable to prevent other penalties that severely damaged the investment climate in his country, including the case of the Ministry of Justice against the state-owned Halkbank for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and including Turkey on the global “gray list” of money laundering for failing to do enough to curb terrorist financing.
Officials said leaders would also discuss regional issues, including the conflict in Syria, where Mr Erdogan is threatening a new incursion to push Syrian government forces and allies out of the area near the Turkish border.
They are also expected to discuss Afghanistan, where Turkey has met with the ruling Taliban to try to encourage them to take a more moderate stance, and Libya, where Ankara has intervened militarily in support of the government in Tripoli, officials said.
Numerous protests on Saturday in Rome at the top of the Group of 20 focused on the threat posed by climate change. Leaders gathered there, including President Biden, discussed the issue, as well as progress toward a fairer distribution of coronavirus vaccines and a global minimum tax for corporations.
The annual G20 summit, which brings together President Biden and other world leaders, aims to promote global economic cooperation. But with so many top officials in one place, it also serves as a universal mast of uninterrupted formal and informal diplomatic activities.
This year’s meeting will take place in Rome on Saturday and Sunday and is expected to address issues such as climate change, the global supply chain, the pandemic and the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. If members can reach agreement on these topics, they will eventually make a formal joint statement.
Here’s a look at what Group 20 is and what it does, and some important things to see during the summit.
What is the G20?
Group 20 is an organization of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 individual countries and the European Union.
In addition to the United States, these countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. Its members together account for more than 80 percent of world economic output.
Founded in 1999 after a series of major international debt crises, the G20 seeks to unite world leaders around common economic, political and health challenges. It is about creating a more chosen Group 7, an informal bloc of industrialized democracies.
Supporters argue that it is essential that political and financial leaders work closely together as national economies become increasingly globalized.
What is the top of the G20?
Formally, the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy” is the G20 meeting, an annual meeting of finance ministers and heads of state representing members.
It is described as “the first forum for international economic cooperation”. The Heads of State first met formally in November 2008, when the global financial crisis began to develop.
The annual summit is hosted by a country with a rotating presidency; this year it’s Italy.
What happens at the top of the G20?
It focuses on a number of key issues that its leaders hope will reach consensus on collective action.
The aim is to end the two-day meeting with a joint statement committing members to action, although the statement is not legally binding. But one-on-one meetings can overshadow official business.