Most G20 Mem­bers Are More Con­fi­dent In Merkel’s Lead­er­ship Than Trump’s

ForbesWeekly - - NEWS - FOL­LOW NIALL MCCARTHY, FORBES CON­TRIB­U­TOR, AT www.forbes.com/sites/niallm­c­carthy

This year’s G20 sum­mit in Ham­burg, Ger­many, is set to prove ex­tremely chal­leng­ing for all the lead­ers in­volved with key is­sues on the ta­ble in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism, cli­mate change and pro­tec­tion­ism. It’s also no­table as the first oc­ca­sion U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin will meet each other face-to­face. Con­sid­er­ing that the two lead­ers have praised each other over the past few months, hopes are high that their first meet­ing will prove con­struc­tive. How­ever, im­mense po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences con­tinue to drive the U.S. and Rus­sia apart, in­clud­ing the con­flict in Syria and sanc­tions im­posed over Rus­sia’s in­ter­ven­tion in Ukraine.

That lack of unity is em­bod­ied across all G20 na­tions with Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan in par­tic­u­lar fum­ing about Ger­many’s re­fusal to let him ad­dress the coun­try’s large Turk­ish com­mu­nity at a rally. That cou­pled with the di­vi­sion bred by the long-run­ning Brexit saga has seen con­fi­dence in Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s lead­er­ship stand firm in re­cent months. Ac­cord­ing to a Pew Re­search Cen­ter sur­vey, most G20 mem­bers have far more con­fi­dence in Merkel’s lead­er­ship than Trump’s. Seventy-nine per­cent of those polled in France felt con­fi­dent about Merkel do­ing the right thing re­gard­ing world af­fairs in stark con­trast to 14% for Trump. That pat­tern re­peated it­self in the ma­jor­ity of G20 na­tions, though Rus­sia and In­dia were ex­cep­tions, with ma­jori­ties back­ing the U.S. pres­i­dent’s skills on the world stage.

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