From Me­la­nia to Merkel: 4 tell­tale G20 mo­ments

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

From US First Lady Me­la­nia Trump’s tra­vails to the re­served Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s fa­cial twitches, here are some of the anec­do­tal mo­ments that livened up this year’s G20 sum­mit of world lead­ers in Hamburg.

Bad day for Me­la­nia

US First Lady Me­la­nia Trump was due to go on a cruise tour with other spouses of G20 lead­ers, but was in­stead trapped at her res­i­dence as anti-glob­al­iza­tion demon­stra­tors went on the ram­page, smash­ing shop win­dows and burn­ing cars. She fi­nally emerged. But her hus­band Don­ald was locked in talks with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. “There are so many is­sues on the ta­ble... Just about ev­ery­thing got touched upon... Nei­ther one of them wanted to stop” talk­ing, said US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son. “I be­lieve they even sent in the First Lady at one point to see if she could get us out of there, but that didn’t work ei­ther... We did an­other hour. Clearly she failed!” he added.

Macron warms up to Trump

If a video of France’s Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron swerv­ing away from Trump to greet other lead­ers was a key im­age trend­ing on so­cial me­dia sites dur­ing the NATO sum­mit ear­lier this year, at the G20, there ap­pears to have been a clear rap­proche­ment be­tween the young leader and the US prop­erty ty­coon. Macron was firmly at Trump’s side at key “fam­ily photo” ses­sions of the lead­ers. He even in­serted him­self to the far right of the en­tire group at one pho­tog­ra­phy ses­sion, sav­ing the US leader from be­ing at the edge of the pic­ture. At a morn­ing ses­sion yes­ter­day, Macron was seen greet­ing Trump en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. The French leader leaned towards the US leader at one point, spark­ing ques­tions on whether he of­fered him a peck on the cheek. But jour­nal­ists at the scene say it was a more of a hug.

Who were they clap­ping for?

Trump, among the last lead­ers to ar­rive at Hamburg’s Elbphil­har­monie con­cert hall for a cul­tural evening, ap­peared to be greeted by a round of ap­plause as he stepped out of his ar­mored ve­hi­cle. The US leader gamely re­turned a big smile. It turned out that the ap­plause was for Macron, who pulled up just be­hind Trump, Ger­man me­dia re­ported.

Merkel rolling her eyes at Putin

An an­i­mated en­counter be­tween Merkel and Putin has been mak­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia, with ques­tions abuzz about what the two lead­ers dis­cussed. Walk­ing into the con­fer­ence room, Merkel lifted a hand and traced what ap­peared to a move­ment of a pro­jec­tile. But Putin lifted a fin­ger, ap­pear­ing to then of­fer his ver­sion of the same ges­ture, prompt­ing the usu­ally poker-faced Ger­man chan­cel­lor to roll her eyes.

— AP

HAMBURG: Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel (left) talks to Saudi Ara­bia’s State Min­is­ter Ibrahim Al-As­saf prior to a work­ing ses­sion at the G-20 sum­mit in Hamburg.

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